Thursday, 7 June 2007

Save an MEP!

I hadn't realised, until a visit to Brussels this week with work, that the number of Scottish MEPs is to be cut (yet again) at the next European elections, to accommodate new EU member states.

Of course, at the last election the number of Scottish MEPs was cut from 8 to 7. The fact that we ONLY have 7 MEPs (out of 785 in the European Parliament) at the moment to represent Scotland's interests in the European Parliament is totally unacceptable. Our current MEPs (from all 4 parties) do an excellent job trying to negate their small number by co-operating and working well together as a Scottish contingent to represent our interests in Brussels. Now they are to lose another of their number.

As far as the EU is concerned (officially) Scotland is a mere region of a member state. And the cut in MEPs that Scotland will have to take is part of a wider UK reduction. But therein lies the problem. If Scotland was an independent country and member state of the EU, we would still have to accept a reduction in MEPs to accommodate the welcome (in my opinion) EU enlargement. BUT, as a member state, we would have more MEPs in the first place - certainly a lot more than 7! And we would also have a direct voice in other EU institutions - the Council of Ministers and the opportunity of representation in the European Commission.

Being a 'region' in the EU massively dilutes Scotland's influence in Europe. As a 'region' and not a full member state, with diminishing representation in the EU, it will be even harder to make Scotland's voice heard.

There may be a chance to retain 7 Scottish MEPs at the next election, but - in my opinion - this looks unlikely. The only and the BEST way to secure Scotland's place in the EU is with independence.

1 comment:

BellgroveBelle said...

I hadn't realised this was happening either! Shocking. As if it isn't hard enough for 7 MEPs to cover the whole country.

It's maybe not the most inspiring campaign to take to the streets, but I hope there's something organised to raise this issue.