Alyn Smith, who continues to campaign fiercely against Brexit, has been elected President of the European Free Alliance (EFA) Group in the European Parliament.
He succeeds Catalan MEP Josep-Maria Terricabras who stood down at the recent European election.
An MEP for the Scottish National Party (SNP) since 2004, Smith was recently re-elected to the European Parliament, where he has served as a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee.
He headed the SNP’s list for the European elections, which not only topped the poll in Scotland but returned an unprecedented three out of six Scottish MEPs.
The European Free Alliance (EFA) group draws together representatives of pro-European autonomist parties, regions and minorities and has been in a joint group with the European Greens since 1999.
The Greens/EFA group is currently estimated to have 75 MEPs in the new parliament, making it the fourth largest group.
As well as being President of the EFA Group, Smith will also be First Vice President of the Greens/EFA group.
On Tuesday, Smith said:”I’m honoured to have this vote of confidence from my colleagues, particularly during such an interesting political time. The Greens/EFA group has been a consistent voice for good in the European Parliament, and we’ve got an exciting future ahead of us.”
“Lest we forget, Scotland voted decisively to Remain in the EU, and has just returned four pro-Remain MEPs out of six. Scotland is a European nation, and by electing a Scot from an unashamedly pro-Remain party as EFA President, I hope this shows that Scotland not only wants to play our part in contributing to this family of nations, but is also valued by the EU27.”
“I also want to pay a particular tribute to Josep-Maria Terricabras for all his work over the past five years as President of the EFA Group. Catalonia could not have wished for a stronger and more effective advocate and he has served in the European Parliament with great distinction.”