MEP Wins Key Backing For Aid Move –

MEP Wins Key Backing For Aid Move Fishing Monthly Published:  20 February, 2003

SNP Euro-MP Ian Hudghton welcomed a vote today in the European Parliament calling for the EU to allocate EURO 150 million extra funding to compensate Scotland’s fishing communities.

Members of all parties and nationalities backed the move which comes in the wake of December’s fishing deal.

MEPs supported an oral amendment tabled by Mr Hudghton which ensures that the money would be over and above money already allocated by the states involved. The European Parliament move comes just two days after UK Fisheries minister Elliot Morley stated that he would not go “cap in hand” to Europe for additional funding.

The compensation resolution approved in today’s Fisheries Committee will be voted upon by the full Parliament in early March.Mr Hudghton’s oral amendment specifically called for EURO 150 million new money to be allocated from the EU budget.

Spain and Portugal recently received EURO 197 million from the EU flexibility instrument when their fleets were faced with a similar crisis. In order to receive flexibility instrument money, a call must be received from both the European Parliament and the Council. The Parliament today approved the first stage in the process.

Mr Hudghton said:”I welcome the vote in the Parliament’s Fisheries Committee which is the first stage in securing vital EU funds to compensate our coastal communities. MEPs of all political persuasions from around Europe agreed that the EU created the current crisis – and that the EU should therefore compensate our fishing industry.”