"Scotland Has Much To Gain And To Contribute"

SNP President Ian Hudghton MEP has today (Monday) welcomed the publication of an EU action plan aimed at revitalising the marine economies of Europe's Atlantic nations.

The plan is part of a wider strategy to encourage cooperation between the EU's five member states with Atlantic coastlines. The strategy covers a number of key areas including research and technology, renewable energy, maritime tourism and traditional industries. Within the action plan the EU will foster existing links between Atlantic nations with a view to maximising the economic benefits derived from the sea.

Mr Hudghton commented:

"The Atlantic coastline has shaped Scotland's history and culture for generations and the ties with our maritime neighbours run deep. These ties are important in the present too, and the EU's Atlantic action plan is aiming to strengthen them in the future.

"Scotland should aim to be a key player in these developments. We are already a major pioneer in the development of marine renewable energy, and within the framework of the Atlantic plan we can ensure that our potential is fully reached.

"More traditional industries also remain important and we must continue to work with our Atlantic neighbours to revitalise the fisheries sector.

"Scotland has much to gain and much to contribute in these efforts to foster regional cooperation. This means us playing a full role within the EU and building upon existing links with countries across the sea.

"Scotland's economic future lies in supporting cross-border initiatives such as this - and we must resist attempts to isolate Scotland from the EU and from our Atlantic neighbours."

Notes for editors
• Further details of the EU Action Plan for a Maritime Strategy in the Atlantic area are available at - http://europa.eu/rapid/pressrelease_IP-13-420_en.htm

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