Hudghton (Greens/EFA) - Mr President, President-in- Office, as a representative of the European Free Alliance stateless nations, such as Scotland, Wales and Catalonia, I note that Finland, as well as leading the EU and celebrating a hundred years of restored independence, was the first nation in the world to grant full political rights to women. As more and more small countries such as Catalonia, Montenegro and my own, Scotland, seek to reassert our right to independence, we look to Finland and the other small Member States of the EU as role models. I welcome your stated commitment to transparency and subsidiarity. However, if we are really to restore public credibility in the European Union, as we both want, we must do more than simply re-table the existing Constitution text. EU credibility in Scotland, for instance, will not improve if the disastrous common fisheries policy is further entrenched. This wasteful trek that we must make to Strasbourg each month does not help. I also welcome the President-in-Office's stated intention to consult on the Constitution, but we need to consult not only each other in the institutions but also the public and take note of what they say.

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