European Engagement

Europe, External Affairs and Culture – in the Scottish Parliament at 2:15 pm on 21 June 2007.

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Photo of John Park John Park Labour 2:15, 21 June 2007

To ask the Scottish Executive when its Cabinet will next discuss engagement with Europe. (S3O-339)

Photo of Linda Fabiani Linda Fabiani Scottish National Party

The Scottish Cabinet regularly discusses issues that relate to engagement with Europe and European Union aspects of Scottish Government policy. However, the Scottish ministers operate on the basis of collective responsibility and do not disclose details of their private deliberations or of what they will or will not discuss at Cabinet.

Photo of John Park John Park Labour

Oh—I thank the minister for that detail.

We have heard much in this parliamentary session about red tape and burdens on business, but does the minister acknowledge that the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development lists Scotland, as part of the United Kingdom, as the second-least regulated country in the OECD?

I am interested in whether the Cabinet will discuss its approach to EU directives in the near future. For example, I would like a specific answer, if possible, on whether the minister supports the extension of information and consultation rights, which would benefit thousands of Scottish workers.

Photo of Linda Fabiani Linda Fabiani Scottish National Party

I do not know whether I managed to note all Mr Park's points, but I presume that he was referring from a Scottish Trades Union Congress perspective to the Lisbon agenda in particular. He will know that the previous session's European and External Relations Committee, of which I was the convener, took strong evidence from the STUC on that issue.

There are contradictory views on whether business in Scotland is underregulated or overregulated. I hope that the new European and External Relations Committee and the Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee will discuss the matter further. The Scottish ministers take the economy seriously and will, no doubt, discuss the issues that have been raised by Mr Park.