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Ian Hudghton
Scottish National Party
Member of the European Parliament

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Press Releases
22 August
SNP/Plaid Response to election of Barroso as EU Commission President

Responding to today's confirmation by a vote in the European Parliament of the election of former Portuguese Premier Josť Manuel Barroso as the new President of the European Commission, Euro-MPs from the SNP and Plaid Cymru described Sr Barroso's appointment as "another political stitch up in a week of political stitch ups in Europe".

Speaking from Strasbourg, SNP European Leader Ian Hudghton MEP said:

"Sr Barroso's nomination only came about because European governments couldn't agree on anyone else. Whilst I don't doubt his ability, to be put forward as a candidate because heads of government can't agree on anyone else is hardly the best recommendation.

We will of course work constructively with Barroso to further the interests of Scotland in Europe, but his deeply unconvincing response to SNP questioning during the nomination process certainly left me in no doubt that I should vote against his appointment."

"Following the unholy Tory/Labour alliance that stitched up the Parliament Presidency on Tuesday, this is another political stitch up in a week of political stitch ups in Europe."

Plaid Cymru Euro-MP Jill Evans MEP commented:

"I challenged Barroso on improving the level of representation for devolved governments such as those of Wales at the European level.

Although he professed a commitment to devolution in domestic politics, he failed to give me any assurance that he'd take action at European level to improve Welsh representation in Europe.

His uninspired answer on that issue, combined with his unswerving support for the Iraq war, his domestic record on social policy and his stance on approving GM foods were the main reasons why I opposed his nomination today."

Alyn Smith MEP (SNP) added:

"Barroso's ability and competence has never been in any doubt throughout the nomination process and we congratulate him on his success. Nonetheless, despite repeated challenges from myself and colleagues he failed to give us the assurances we sought.

He was utterly unconvincing on the need to devolve decision to the most local level appropriate nor from my point of view on the need to bring the Scottish Parliament into the EU's decision making.

Barroso has said repeatedly that as Commission President he wants to bridge the differences and disagreements that exist on taking Europe forward - this commitment will now be put to the test."

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