Audit Scotland: A public body which provides independent assurance that public money is spent properly, efficiently and effectively in Scotland, supporting the Auditor General and the Accounts Commission.
Back stop: The arrangements set out in the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland in the EU – UK Draft Withdrawal Agreement which would apply if a trade agreement is not reached by the end of the transition period. It would ensure that no “tariffs, quotas, rules of origin or customs processes” would be applied to UK-EU trade.
Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU): The judicial authority of the EU which ensures the uniform application and interpretation of EU law. The CJEU reviews the legality of the acts of the institutions of the EU, ensures that the member states comply with obligations under the Treaties, and interprets EU law at the request of the national courts and tribunals.
Directives: An EU directive is a legislative act that sets out a goal that all EU member states must achieve, without dictating the means of achieving that goal. Member states must generally pass the relevant domestic legislation to give effect to (transpose) the terms of the directive.
Environmental governance: A set of mechanisms, rules and practices to assign, implement, apply and enforce environmental law and policy frameworks.
Environmental principles: Environmental principles help to guide and shape environmental law and policy. They are reflected in international agreements (e.g. the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development and the UN Convention on Biological Diversity) and are an integral part of EU and domestic legislation and policy making.
European Union (EU): The political and economic union of member states located primarily in Europe.
EU referendum: A UK national referendum held on 23 June 2016 on whether the UK should leave or remain in the EU.
EU retained law: The European (Withdrawal) Act 2018 preserves EU-derived domestic law and rolls over directly applicable EU law into the UK statute book on exit day. This collectively then becomes ‘retained EU law’.
European Commission: The EU’s executive, with responsibility for decisions on the EU’s political and strategic direction.
European Environment Agency (EEA): An agency of the EU which aims to provide sound, independent information on environmental matters, including the gathering of data and production of assessments on a wide range of topics related to the environment.
Infraction Proceedings: See infringement proceedings.
Infringement Proceedings: Where it detects a failure to comply with EU law, the European Commission can begin infringement proceedings against a member state for failure to fulfil a treaty obligation.
Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC): The public body that advises the UK Government and devolved administrations on nature conservation issues at a Great Britain, United Kingdom and European level.
Non Departmental Public Bodies (NDPBs): Public bodies which work outwith central Government and operate at arm’s length from ministers.
National Performance Framework (NPF): This framework provides the basis for the Scottish Government and its partners across different sectors to work in integrated ways to achieve national outcomes and contribute to the Scottish Government’s purpose and the UNs Sustainable Development Goals.
Office of the Scottish Information Commissioner (OSIC): The independent public official responsible for promoting and enforcing Scotland’s freedom of information (FOI) law.
Regulations: A law or rule, set down by an authority (usually government), to regulate conduct.
Roundtable: The Roundtable for the Environment and Climate Change.
Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA): A non-departmental public body of the Scottish Government. As Scotland’s principal environmental regulator, SEPA’s role is to protect and improve the environment, including ensuring Scotland’s natural resources are managed in a sustainable way; and to contribute to improving the health and well being of people in Scotland; and to achieving sustainable economic growth.
Scottish Public Services Ombudsman (SPSO): An independent organisation that handles complaints about public services in Scotland. It is the final stage for complaints about councils, the National Health Service, housing associations, colleges and universities, prisons, most water providers, the Scottish Government and its agencies and departments and most Scottish authorities.
Single market: The European Single Market is a trade bloc encompassing the EU member states, along with four other countries, that involves the free movement of goods, services, people and money. Common rules and regulations make it easy for companies within member states to trade across national borders.
Transition period: The proposed period, set out in the EU – UK Draft Withdrawal Agreement, between the UK leaving the European Union (on 29 March 2019) and the start of new arrangements for future trade (on 1 January 2021). It will only come into effect as part of a withdrawal agreement with the EU.
Transposed EU legislation: In EU law, transposition is a process by which member states give force to an EU directive by passing appropriate domestic legislation.
Withdrawal Agreement: The draft EU – UK Withdrawal Agreement will, if passed in the UK Parliament, govern the process of terminating the UK’s membership of the European Union.