Can the Scottish Government adequately tailor Scottish solutions to Scottish problems under EU law? This is just one of the questions to be considered by the European and External Relations Committee as part of its inquiry into the transposition of EU directives.
The Committee has appointed three Reporters, MSPs Alex Neil, Irene Oldfather and Iain Smith, to take forward the recommendations of the previous Committee’s initial inquiry which was led by Jim Wallace relating to the Scottish Government’s effectiveness in representing Scottish interests at the EU level.
The Committee’s Convener, Malcolm Chisholm MSP, said:
"The previous committee’s inquiry revealed that there are real concerns about the way in which legislation from Brussels adequately reflects Scottish interests, its unique legal system and the needs of Scottish stakeholders.
"This new inquiry will focus on the way in which the Scottish Government engages with those stakeholders and the UK Government as well as looking at the transparency of this process.”
The remit of the inquiry is to examine the transposition of EU directives into Scottish law. Amongst the questions to be considered by the committee are:
How effective are the Scottish Government’s transposition procedures?
How transparent are the Scottish Government’s transposition procedures?
How effective is the Scottish Government in working closely with the other devolved administrations and the UK Government during the transposition process?
To what extent does the transposition process allow for “differential implementation” and tailor Scottish solutions to Scottish problems?
How effective is the role of the Scottish Parliament within the transposition process?
The closing date for the consultation is 11 January 2008 .
The Committee agreed to undertake a reporter-led inquiry into the transposition of EU directives at its meeting on 4 September 2007 and set the inquiry’s remit at its meeting on 30 October 2007 .
The Scottish Government is responsible for implementing EU directives into Scottish law on devolved matters. These include key areas such as agriculture, energy, justice and transport. Over three-quarters of the work of the Scottish Government is, to a greater or lesser extent, influenced by decisions taken in Brussels .