Holyrood and Europe - who does what?

This page explains the different roles of the Scottish Parliament and European Parliament.  

   The Scottish Parliament  The European Parliament
 
Where?

Scotland

The European Union (EU)

Currently there are 28 countries in the EU, including the UK

How many chambers?

One chamber

One chamber

How many members?

129 Members of the Scottish Parliament (MSPs)

751 Members of the European Parliament (MEPs)

How many members represent Scotland?

129 MSPs representing you on devolved matters

6 MEPs represent you in the European Parliament on EU wide issues which can be either devolved or reserved

Who does it scrutinise?

The Scottish Government and its agencies

The other EU institutions such as the European Comission

How are members elected?

 


73 constituency MSPs are elected by the first past the post system

56 regional MSPs are elected by proportional representation

751 MEPs are elected under some form of proportional representation (differences exist in the voting methods used by Member States)

When are elections?

The most recent Scottish Parliament election was held on 5 May 2016

Under the Scottish Parliament Elections (Dates) Act 2016, the next Scottish Parliament elections are scheduled to take place on 6 May 2021.

Elections every 5 years

So how does it work?

  Scottish Parliament                                      European Parliament
 Devolved or reserved?  Devolved matters  European Union (EU-wide) issues, which can be either devolved or reserved matters
 Who proposes laws?

 

 The Scottish Government

 

 

Members of the Scottish Parliament (MSPs)

 

 

Committees of the Scottish Parliament

 

Private companies, individuals or groups

 The European Commission only
 Who examines the laws?

 

 The Scottish Parliament

 

Committees of the Scottish Parliament

 

 

 The European Parliament

 

The Council of Ministers

 

Committees of the European Parliament

 Who has the final say? MSPs

 

MEPs (though it must be implemented on a national level)

 Who implements the laws?  The Scottish Government  National Governments (could be the Scottish or the UK Government, depending on whether the issue is devolved or reserved)

Did you know?

        

All 6 MEPs for Scotland represent you regardless of where you live in Scotland.

You can find out which MEPs represent you here.

Keep up to date

Yes please!

I would like to sign up to the Scottish Parliament's weekly newsletter.