Since 1999 Scotland has been designated, by the UK Government, as one electoral area of the UK for the purpose of European Parliamentary Elections.
The UK Government decided to reduce Scotland's number of MEPs to six, as from the elections held in June 2009.
In addition to representing Scotland at Parliamentary meetings in Brussels and Strasbourg, Ian Hudghton travels extensively around Scotland meeting constituents, speaking to schools, colleges and universities and consulting with key interest groups.
SNP President Ian Hudghton MEP chaired a meeting on Saturday 15th October 2016 during SNP Conference on the 'Possibilities for Scotland Remaining in the EU'.
Mr Hudghton convened a panel consisting of the Scottish Government Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Europe and External Affairs Fiona Hyslop MSP, SNP Europe spokesperson at Westminster Stephen Gethins MP, and European Free Alliance President François Alfonsi.
Mr Alfonsi was the first speaker to address delegates. He highlighted the fact that Scottish voters overwhelmingly supported remaining as members of the European Union in the EU referendum.
Stephen Gethins MP addressed the situation at Westminster where the UK Government holds no plan or strategy on Brexit.
Finally, Cabinet Secretary Hyslop spoke of the Scottish Government's approach on the possibilities of Scotland remaining in the EU.
Commenting after the event Ian Hudghton MEP said,
"This SNP fringe event was very well attended by delegates with only standing room available. It is clear that there is great interest in the very important subject of Scotland remaining in the EU. A question and answer session between delegates and the panelists that took place following the opening speeches was lively and well informed."
Along with colleagues from the European Free Alliance (EFA) in the European Parliament, I visited Valencia, Spain for an EFA Parliamentary Group meeting earlier this month.
Organised by Jordi Sebastia of the Compromis party (Commitment), SNP colleague Alyn Smith MEP and I joined EFA colleagues Ernest Maragall MEP, Josep-Maria Terricabras MEP and Tatjana Zdanoka MEP to gain first-hand account of the political atmosphere in Valencia along with a number of the environmental and energy-related issues that the Valencian region are currently facing.
In visiting the Les Corts Valencianes - the Valencian Parliament - where we met with the President, Mr. Enric Morera Ribó the stark differences between political voices materialised during a morning plenary debate. Lengthy speaking time, applause and a great degree of gender equality were visible inside the chamber along with cross-party representation of views on diverse topics. Nonetheless, the challenges between this regional Parliament and Madrid are palpable - which are most prominent with regards to energy and environmental issues.
On the subject of the Mediterranean Transport Corridor, we met with local campaigners, representatives from the local business community and civil society organisations who emphasized this that railway development has huge potential for the region's economy and other regions throughout Spain. Advocates for the MTC are frustrated with obstacles to its progress, despite the Corridor being one of the top transport priorities for the European Union. As an economic and trade lifeline, the Valencian region is seeking market access to southern France which may also pave the way for future potential to facilitate trade exchanges with North Africa.
Local entrepreneurs, representatives and experts from the energy sector also met with us in the Centre de Cultura Contemporània to give a presentation of their commitment to energy sustainability. Along with innovative new ideas to boost sustainable sources of energy power in the Valencian region, the delegation was informed of the lack of investment from Madrid in renewables and an over-dependence on gas and CO2 emitting energy sources.
Our final meeting was to Albufera National Park, which included a fantastic boat trip to discuss the protection of biodiversity and land uses in the National Park. In Albufera, we heard that there is a specialist way of water management here. Beyond the issue of surplus water in the Park, the key problem is the aftermath of harvesting in the rice fields. After the harvesting season in the autumn, stalks (and residue) remain in the rice fields which should be removed prior to flooding of the fields. The simplest way to deal with the stalks is to burn them but this produces a high intensity release of CO2 emissions and it also heavily impacts the wildlife, vegetation and health of the local people. The alternatives to the burning of the stalks are hindered by the swamp-like conditions of where the stalks remain, which form mud land therefore making it exceptionally difficult for machinery to remove them. As 50% of the water from the river in the Albufera Park is used in the Valencian region, the impact of this issue is felt further than the local population and environment surrounding the Park - underlining the need for a collective political effort to address this ongoing problem.
The visit to Valencia was highly insightful to understand the similar challenges that we in Scotland face when it comes to protecting our environment, biodiversity and local communities. Moreover our long-standing commitment in Scotland to renewable energy sources resembles much of the Valencian approach to energy sustainability.
Scottish National Party President & Member of the European Parliament for Scotland, Ian Hudghton, this week joined SNP candidate, Alison Thewliss, to campaign for her election as the next MP for Glasgow Central.
Voters in Scotland go to the polls on Thursday, 7th May to elect MPs to represent them in the Westminster Parliament and Alison Thewliss is one of fifty-nine candidates standing for the SNP.
Scots MEP Ian Hudghton flew in from Brussels on Wednesday afternoon to join Alison Thewliss and her team on the campaign trail before stopping off at WEST Brewery in the constituency which
A senior Member of the European Parliament’s Fisheries Committee has said that electing a strong group of SNP MPs to Westminster is the best way of ensuring that fishing becomes a priority for the UK Government. Ian Hudghton MEP made his remarks during a meeting with the SNP candidate for North East Fife, Stephen Gethins, and fishermen’s representatives in Pittenweem. Local MSP Roderick Campbell also attended the meeting.
Speaking after meeting with the fishermen, the SNP President Ian Hudghton MEP said: “Our fishermen in Fife and across the rest of Scotland know better than most the value of a strong voice representing them in the European Union. Decisions about our fishing industry made in Brussels have a big impact on our fishermen and the coastal communities the industry supports. In spite the fact that the Scottish Fisheries Minister is responsible for the industry in Scotland and about two thirds of the UK industry our Minister must rely on the UK Government who have refused to give Scotland a top seat at the European negotiating table.
SNP President & MEP Ian Hudghton is marking International Womens' Day 2015 by calling on the European Union to 'make it happen'.
Following a historic year in the advancement of opportunities for women in Scotland, the Scottish MEP has called on Europe to smash the glass ceiling for women.
SNP President and Member of the European Parliament, Ian Hudghton, was one of many MEPs joining WWF at the European Parliament in Brussels this week to support Earth Hour, the biggest environmental action to protect the planet. The global lights out event will take place on Saturday 28th March at 8:30pm.
As the 21st UN Climate Change Conference - supposed to produce a global agreement to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and beyond - will take place in Paris in December this year, Members of the European Parliament were inspired to show their commitment to use their power to change climate change and support the need for an ambitious global climate deal.
Ian Hudghton MEP this evening attended the AGM for the Montrose SNP Branch.
Ian Hudghton MEP commented, "I was pleased to witness the AGM for the SNP Montrose branch this evening. It is very uplifting to witness the increased membership and enthusiasm of members, many of whom are new faces in recent months."
SNP MEP Ian Hudghton raised the profile of Dundee Cake, currently the subject of a bid to gain Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) status in the European Union, by hosting a tasting at the European Parliament this afternoon.
Despite the name of the cake, currently a Dundee Cake can be made anywhere in the world. However, should the PGI status be approved, Dundee Cake would have to be mixed, baked and decorated in the Dundee area to allow the use of the Dundee Cake name. Similar recognition exists for Arbroath Smokies, Champagne, Parmesan cheese and Stornoway black pudding.