Euro News Monthly September 2009

Thank you!

SNP Savours Stunning Success At Euro Elections 09

The 2009 European Parliament election was hailed as the biggest trans-national election in history, with voting taking place over four days. On 4 June, Scotland spoke and made its own mark in the history books. The SNP vote surged by 10 points - the only party in the UK to record a major advance at the expense of Labour - resulting in the biggest swing from Labour anywhere in the UK, and double the swing from Labour to the Tories UK-wide. This was the biggest increase in any party's share of the vote in the history of the European elections in Scotland, and one of the largest increases in any Scottish election. The European election results are a positive endorsement of the SNP and a positive vote for our record in government.

The SNP are in the driving seat because the people of Scotland like what they are getting from the SNP government at home and abroad. Together we have to ensure that we keep steering in the right direction towards independence. We've got what it takes to turn Scotland completely yellow.

I am delighted and honoured to represent Scotland in Europe again. As Scotland's mouthpiece, I intend to protect and promote the interests of Scottish people on the European stage and further the case for an independent Scotland in Europe. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank you all for your continued support.

This newsletter serves as a reflection on the busy couple of months in the run up to the election. I hope you will find the forthcoming monthly newsletters useful for getting a flavour of what I am up to. As Full Committee Member on Agriculture and Rural Development, Substitute Committee Member on Culture and Education and Substitute Committee Member on Constitutional Affairs I am sure interesting stories will ensue!

Champion Of Champions- Smith Scoops Silver

Alyn receiving the Champion of Champions award

Alyn was delighted to win the prestigious Scottish Farmer Magazine award for Outstanding Contribution to Scottish Agriculture, as well as the Scottish Farmer "Champion of Champions" award chosen by the judges from amongst the other award winners. He was also presented with a silver salver from the National Sheep Association for outstanding service to the sheep industry.

Smith said: "I'm just delighted by these awards, for a politician to be nominated at all was unusual, but to actually win, and then win the Champion of Champions as well was totally unexpected!

"We certainly have a lot to do, with Common Agricultural Policy reform rocketing up the agenda in Brussels, as well as LFA reform, potential new rules on animal transport, animal by products, and a host of other issues to keep an eye on. I'll need all the support I can get in fighting Scotland's corner but I'm sure Scotland's representatives will have all the support we need."

Download the interview here:

Alyn Named Honorary President Of Student Nationalists

Alyn was elected as Honorary President of the Federation of Student Nationalists (FSN) following their Annual General Meeting in July. Speaking after his election, Smith said: "I am proud to be associated with the FSN and the work they do to involve and educate young people about politics, and I hope to remain active in helping them recruit even more young members to our cause."

Richard Laird, Convener of FSN said: "I am really pleased to have Alyn as our new Honorary President. He commands respect across Scottish society for his work as an MEP and to have him associated with the FSN is a great boost for us. I look forward to working with him to advance the causes of students in Scotland and across Europe."

Work Experience 09

Smith measuring a tree in SmithtonJuly was that time of year again for Alyn to get his hands mucky as his annual week of work experience and general hard graft kicked off. Since his election in 2004, Smith has spent the first two weeks of recess on placements in a variety of trades: at sea on a trawler; as a postman; with the SSPCA; in a distillery, and even a day as a bin man in Glasgow.

This year, freshly re-elected in the SNP's election victory, Smith commenced proceedings Invermark Estate, Brechin where he spent a full day deer stalking. After he dusted off his walking shoes and nursed a few blisters, he then hit the trail to Inverness to turn his hands to lumberjacking, where he assisted with a forest planning exercise at Strathmashie forest at Laggan. Smith topped off his action-packed week by spending a day as a Marshal at Forth Ports on the Thursday working on the Rosyth-Zeebrugge ferry, a vital international link for Scotland. But it does not stop there! In the coming weeks, Smith will saddle up and spend the day horse grooming at Belwade Farm, Aberdeenshire.

Smith said: “I came out of these experiences with more than just splinters and tired feet; but an overall better understanding of the issues affecting some of Scotland's most treasured trades so hopefully I will be more useful to them now I’m back in Brussels."

Recap Of Recent Events

27/4/09- Sheep ID Battle Goes To London

Alyn met with UK Secretary of State for Agriculture Hilary Benn MP in London. He was joined by NFU Scotland President Jim McLaren, Vice President Nigel Miller and George Milne from the National Sheep Association to impress upon Mr Benn the efforts underway in Brussels to highlight the potentially hugely negative impacts of the EU plans to individually identify sheep and goats.

29/6/09- Bye To Bendy Banana Ban

Alyn welcomed the entrance of new EU marketing regulations which mark the end of the restrictions put in place after the infamous "straight banana" ruling. Smith said: "Previous rules on fruit and veg standards have proved to be too proscriptive so this is good news for producers and consumers."

1/7/09- Smith Welcomes New Roaming Rules

New roaming rules cap the price that consumers can be charged for sending a text message while abroad at 0.11 euro (compared to an average of around 0.29 euro) thus bringing down the prices for roamed SMS by 60%. Smith said: "This is fantastic news and the new roaming rules will bring instant benefits to Scots holidaymakers and business travellers alike."

3/7/09- Alyn Awarded Highland Show Champion Of Champions (P2)

6/7/09- Alyn Named Honorary President Of Student Nationalists (P2)

Download Newsletter
(Word doc 1.2mb)