SNP President Ian Hudghton MEP has welcomed a new report which highlights the benefits for countries who become full members of the European Union. The European Commission this week published a report entitled "Enlargement, Two Years After – An Economic Success" which highlights the benefits of full EU membership enjoyed by the new states two years since they joined.

The report says that European Union enlargement to take in ten new member states has been a catalyst for economic growth and has accelerated wealth creation, raising living standards in the ten new countries that joined the EU in 2004. The report also praises the economic stability that joining the EU has helped bring to the new member states, making them more attractive prospects for investment.

Mr. Hudghton commented:

"This report is very encouraging and underlines the benefits to countries who become full members of the European Union. It confirms the potential of EU membership to raise living standards and wealth levels in new member states.

"The ten countries that joined the EU in 2004 - many of them smaller and less economically successful than Scotland - are seeing rapid economic growth and their citizens will benefit as a result.

"This EU Commission study deserves to be taken seriously and reflected upon. It underscores our belief that we in Scotland will not be able to realise our full potential as a nation until we become a full EU member in our own right."

"This adds to the growing body of evidence that small countries thrive in the international arena."

For more information on the report see: http://europa.eu.int/comm/economy_finance/publications/occasionalpapers_en.htm

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