This week's book giveaway is in the OO, Patterns, UML and Refactoring forum. We're giving away four copies of Refactoring for Software Design Smells: Managing Technical Debt and have Girish Suryanarayana, Ganesh Samarthyam & Tushar Sharma on-line! See this thread for details.
There's no such thing as a global variable in EL. What you do is setAttribute() from the servlet (or other class) before calling the JSP. If you want it available on all JSP pages, you can put it in a filter that always gets called.