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Ian Hudghton
Scottish National Party
Member of the European Parliament

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Learn more about Ian Hudghton MEP
A Guide to the European Parliament and your MEP


Scotlandís Voice in Brussels

MEPs are your voice in Brussels. Just as you elect Councillors to deal with local issues and Parliamentarians to deal with Scottish and Westminster issues, so Members of the European Parliament are directly elected to deal with European issues.

Since 1999 Scotland has been designated one electoral area, electing seven MEPs at the June 2004 elections. Elections are by proportional representation with each Party putting up a team of candidates. Currently the SNP have two Members representing Scotland, Ian Hudghton and Alyn Smith.


Speaking up for Scotland in Brussels and Strasbourg, are SNP colleagues Ian Hudghton and Alyn Smith.

European Legislation

An MEPís main task is to vote on European legislation. The European Parliamentís 20 specialist committees scrutinise, line by line, directives and regulations proposed by the European Commission.

In some areas of policy it is mainly European, rather than national, laws which regulate us all. This is the case for much environmental legislation, competition policy, consumer protection, employment and social rights, fisheries and agricultural controls.

MEPs can help to promote Scotland internationally. Ian Hudghton MEP and Fisheries adviser Lachie Muir attend the annual Seafood Europe exhibition in Brussels.
MEPs can help to promote Scotland internationally. Ian Hudghton MEP and Fisheries
adviser Lachie Muir attend the annual Seafood Europe exhibition in Brussels.

EU legislation is frequently adopted by co-decision, i.e. jointly by the European Parliament and the Council (the latter being composed of Ministers from each of the current 25 Member State governments). Both Parliament and Council hold two readings of a draft text and if by then they have not agreed on a conclusion, a conciliation committee composed of representatives from each side negotiates a compromise, which must then be approved by both Parliament and the Council of Ministers.

This detailed scrutiny is intended to ensure that European legislation is acceptable to the Member State governments and to MEPs who directly represent you, the public.

Fisheries and Agriculture policy are not included in the co-decision procedure between the European Parliament and the Council. This means that all final decisions in these areas are made by the Member State governments in the Council of Ministers, and therefore, although we have a devolved government in Scotland with authority over fishing and agriculture policy, the right to represent these interests in Europe is reserved to Westminster.

European Commission

Initial proposals for legislation are drafted and published by the European Commission, which is also responsible for implementing EU policies once they have been adopted. The Commission is headed by 25 Commissioners, nominated by Member State governments and approved by the European Parliament. Holding office for five years, the Commission can only be dismissed following a vote of no confidence by the European Parliament.

Brussels Bureaucrats

Part of an MEPís job is to keep tabs on the European Commission and on the civil servants working under its authority ó the famous Brussels bureaucrats. Commissioners and their civil servants are regularly held accountable through appearances before European Parliamentary committees and plenary sessions, where they are cross-examined and expected to explain what they are up to.

Keeping in touch with constituents aroud Scotland is important. Ian Hudghton MEP visits Peterhead Harbour with local SNP Councillors and MSP
Keeping in touch with constituents around Scotland is important. Ian Hudghton MEP
visits Peterhead Harbour with local SNP Councillors and MSP

Annual Budget

The European Parliament is also responsible for adopting the EUís annual budget. The Parliament and the Council of Ministers must agree the broad guidelines of the budget jointly, but the exact sum allocated to individual items is, except in the field of agriculture, usually up to the Parliament.


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