Glossary

The glossary provides definitions for parliamentary terms to help you understand the Parliament and how it works.  The terms are arranged alphabetically so select a letter to find the term you would like to have explained.

E

EC

European Communities.

Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee

A subject committee of the Parliament, of 9 members, the remit of which is to consider and report on the Scottish economy, enterprise, energy, tourism and renewables and all other matters within the responsibility of the Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Employment and Sustainable Growth apart from those covered by the remit of the Local Government and Regeneration Committee and matters relating to the Cities Strategy falling within the responsibility of the Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure, Investment and Cities.

E-Day

6 May 1999. The first general election to the Scottish Parliament.

Edinburgh accommodation allowance

An allowance set depending on the travel time from a member’s main residence to Edinburgh.

Education and Culture Committee

A subject committee of the Parliament, of 9 members, the remit of which is to consider and report on further and higher education, lifelong learning, schools, pre-school care, skills and other matters falling within the responsibility of the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning and matters relating to culture and the arts falling within the responsibility of the Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs.

election expenses

Expenses incurred in relation to the conduct or management an election.

electronic voting

The normal method of voting at a meeting of the Parliament. MSPs can vote ‘Yes’, ‘No’ or ‘Abstain’ by pressing the appropriate button on the console on their desks.

emergency bill

An Executive bill which, with the Parliament’s agreement, undergoes a faster legislative process.

emergency business

Business which the Presiding Officer can allow to be taken at an appropriate point during a meeting of the Parliament.

emergency question

A question on an urgent matter which, if lodged by 10:00 on a day when the Parliament is meeting, may be asked that day if the Presiding Officer is of the opinion that it is ‘sufficiently urgent’ (rule 13.8).

emergency statement

A ministerial statement on an urgent matter.

employee travel allowance

Under the members' allowances scheme, an allowance for MSPs to be reimbursed for the cost of a specified number of journeys per year between the relevant constituency, region or the main residence of the employee and the parliamentary complex. It is also to fund journeys within the constituency or region made by MSP staff (employed through the SPCB payroll service) who support the member in his/her parliamentary duties. Commuting costs are excluded.

enactment

An Act, a part of an Act or, occasionally, a piece of subordinate legislation may be referred to as an enactment.

environmental statement

One of the accompanying documents for certain private bills relating to works of a class determined by the Presiding Officer, or to compulsory acquisition or use of land and buildings. The statement sets out environmental impact information as determined by the Presiding Officer.

equal opportunities

One of the 4 key principles of the report of the Consultative Steering Group. Equal opportunities are defined in the remit of the Equal Opportunities Committee (rule 6.9).

Equal Opportunities Committee

A mandatory committee of the Parliament, of 7 members, the remit of which is to consider and report on matters relating to equal opportunities and upon the observance of equal opportunities within the Parliament.  In these Rules, “equal opportunities” includes the prevention, elimination or regulation of discrimination between persons on grounds of sex or marital status, on racial grounds or on grounds of disability, age, sexual orientation, language or social origin or of other personal attributes, including beliefs or opinions such as religious beliefs or political opinions.” (Standing Orders of the Scottish Parliament, Rule 6.9).

The committee must be established within 42 sitting days of a Scottish Parliament election.

equipment and furniture scheme

A separate scheme to the members' allowances scheme agreed on 21 June 2001 by Parliament. It regulates the provision of IT, other office supplies and furniture. The scheme was rescinded with effect from 1 October 2008.

estimate of expenses and funding statement

One of the accompanying documents for certain private bills relating to the construction or alteration of works of a class determined by the Presiding Officer, or to compulsory acquisition or use of lands and buildings. The statement sets out the total cost of, and sources of funding for, the project proposed in the bill, and any other financial information determined by the Presiding Officer, or reasons for non-inclusion of any financial information.

EU

European Union.

Europe Matters

The electronic newsletter of the European and External Relations Committee.

European and External Relations Committee

A mandatory committee of the Parliament, of 9 members, the remit of which is to consider and report on - (a) proposals for European Union legislation; (b) the implementation of European Communities and European Union legislation; (c) any European Communities or European Union issue; (d) the development and implementation of the Scottish Administration’s links with countries and territories outside Scotland, the European Union (and its institutions) and other international organisations; and (e) co-ordination of the international activities of the Scottish Administration. (Standing Orders of the Scottish Parliament, Rule 6.8).

The committee must be established within 42 sitting days of a Scottish Parliament election.

European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR)

The title used for the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. An international agreement between most European states setting out a package of civil rights and liberties. The ECHR is applied in Scotland through provisions of the Scotland Act 1998 and the Human Rights Act 1998.

Executive

See Scottish Executive.

Executive bill

A public bill introduced into the Parliament by a member of the Scottish Executive.

Executive devolution

The extent of powers conferred on Scottish Ministers, including some responsibilities in reserved matters.

Executive note

Text attached to a Scottish statutory instrument explaining the policy background.

Executive statement on legislative competence

Each Executive bill must be accompanied on introduction by a statement by a member of the Scottish Executive stating that, in his or her view, the provisions of the bill would be within the legislative competence of the Parliament.

Expenses Scheme

See Members' Expenses Scheme.

explanatory notes

A form of accompanying document, the purpose of which is to summarise objectively what the provisions of the bill do.

extraordinary general election

A general election held because the Parliament either has resolved that it should be dissolved, or has failed to nominate a First Minister within the relevant statutory period. When either situation arises, the Presiding Officer proposes a date of poll, and the Parliament may be dissolved by royal proclamation for the election to be held on the proposed day (section 3, Scotland Act 1998).