SNP Launch Intern Programme In Memory Of MEP

11 May 2006
SNP leader Alex Salmond MP and MEP Alyn Smith have today launched the Dr Allan Macartney internship programme in memory of the former MEP.

The MEP and academic who died in 1998 represented the North East of Scotland in the European Parliament and was a rector of Aberdeen University. He was among the founders of the SNP's student wing.

Mr Salmond and Mr Smith were joined at the launch by three Scots interns currently working for the SNP in Brussels.

Speaking from Brussels Alex Salmond MP

"Allan Macartney was a great advocate for Scotland's young people. At every opportunity he encouraged them to get involved in politics and to support independence.

"Young people have not given up on politics although in many respects mainstream politics has become distant from them.

"This programme not only recognises Dr Macartney's achievements, but also gives something back to Scotland. I think Allan would approve.

"I want to see young Scots play a full part in the world and part of that is ensuring the next generation of Scots will see Scotland as an independent nation in Europe.

"Scotland needs to get used to working on the world stage. Giving the opportunity to our young people to start their working lives in the European Parliament will make us even better prepared when that day comes."

Alyn Smith MEP who devised the programme said

"We have so many young Scots showing an interest in Europe and in spending time here this seemed like the perfect way to honour Allan Macartney's record.

"Working in Brussels they will see the advances being made by Eastern European countries with their new found Independence, how poorly we are represented in comparison to Ireland and learn from other places like Catalonia and the Basques about their move toward Independence.

"At present we have three interns here on the scheme with two more on their way. Anyone who wants to come just has to apply to me and if you're up to scratch then we'll see you in Brussels. It's a fantastic experience and gives a real boost to people's careers"

The internship programme, which will be run by Mr Smith offers Scottish students the chance for a three month placement in Mr Smith's office, time in Holyrood and Westminster and a unique experience of European and Scottish political life.

Interviews with Mr Salmond, Mr Smith and the Scottish interns recorded at the launch are available through Quadrant media or call Andrea Mott on 32 (0) 496 381402.