Scottish Euro-MP Selected For Senior Parliamentary

Euro-MPs from the European Free Alliance (EFA) Parliamentary Group have chosen the Scottish National Party's Ian Hudghton MEP as group leader. Mr Hudghton succeeds the Flemish Euro-MP Nelly Maes as President of the EFA Group, which draws together political parties from the stateless nations and regions of Europe.

In the European Parliament, European Free Alliance MEPs sit in a parliamentary group with Green Euro-MPs from across Europe. At present the group numbers some 42 MEPs. Mr Hudghton will also be Vice President of the Green / EFA Parliamentary Group.

Ian Hudghton MEP commented:

"It's an honour to be chosen for this position and I'm proud to accept this new role. Fighting for the interests of those countries which are not yet not fully represented at the European level is much enhanced by being part of a sizeable group in the European Parliament.

"I want to thank my fellow MEPs for their support and assure them I look forward to working with them to further the cause of Europe's stateless nations and regions in the years to come. I also want to pay tribute to the commitment and dedication of Nelly Maes who as EFA Group leader in the last parliament commanded a huge amount of respect from across the political spectrum.

"We have a huge task ahead of us over the next five years of this Parliament. There will be crucial debates to be had about the Common Fisheries Policy, European funding programmes, reform of the European institutions and further enlargement of the EU.

"It's vital that those smaller countries like Scotland whose interests have been so consistently let down over the years by the bigger member states have their voices heard. I am confident that this new role, as well as our partnership within a larger parliamentary group, can only help further the interests of our nations and regions."

Vice Presidents of the Group will be Bernat Joan i MarĂ­ (Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya) and Jill Evans (Plaid Cymru - The Party of Wales).

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