Scottish MEP to learn lessons from Norway and Iceland

16 June 2006
Scottish National Party MEP Alyn Smith is to take the lead in a European delegation to Norway and Iceland.

Mr Smith, who is a member of the European Parliament delegation to the two countries will be visiting both next week and will have a series of high level meetings with members of the Norwegian and Icelandic parliaments as well as a lunch with the Icelandic foreign minister.

Norway and Iceland are not EU members but as part of the European Economic Area they are subject to many EU rules despite having no input in to how they are made.

Speaking ahead of the visit Mr Smith said

"Norway and Iceland are in a very different position to Scotland with regards to the EU and it will be interesting to see how they deal with being out of the decision making process but still having to follow many of the rules.

"There are many areas in common between Scotland, Norway and Iceland - not least that we are all absent from the World Cup. We are good friends and neighbours and I am looking forward to meeting members of their Parliaments and in particular the Icelandic foreign minister.

"We will be focussing on many very topical issues, security and defence, fisheries and in particular energy - one area where we in Scotland could learn a lot.

"It is an honour to be representing not just Europe, but Scotland overseas. As Scotland looks toward Independence there is much we can learn by visiting our neighbours and I hope I will make many more friends for Scotland before the week is out."

Note to Editors

Mr Smith will be visiting Norway and Iceland with the EU Norway Iceland delegation from Monday 19th June to Friday 23rd June.