In December 2015 the Scottish Government helped to mark 40 years since the European Commission Office in Scotland was established in 1975. The founding of the Office was an important step as it was, at that point, first Regional Representation to be established after Berlin and it is now the longest established regional office. The Office was swiftly followed by the successful establishment of its counterparts in Belfast and Cardiff, and subsequently across Europe. The Office aims to acts as a bridge between Scottish civil society and various institutions of Scotland and its headquarters in Brussels. It also works to help people here in Scotland to have a better understanding of European issues and the European Commission's role in the EU.
The occasion was marked by a reception at Edinburgh Castle at which Minister for Europe and International Development Humza Yousaf MSP addressed a crowd of third sector, Government and Institutional representatives, academics, NGOs and MSPs on the value of European cooperation. The event also offered the opportunity for performers from Scottish Opera to showcase their skills to the attendees.
By establishing its Office in 1975 the European Commission joined a thriving diplomatic community in Scotland. Foreign government representatives have been present in Scotland since the 11th Century in the form of the Consular Corps. In their modern form, the Consular Corps of Glasgow and the Consular Corps of Edinburgh and Leith, are both very active and the Consular Corps of Edinburgh and Leith marked its 70 year anniversary in 2012. Currently 57 countries worldwide are represented amongst the Consular ranks in Scotland. Their Offices play an important role in Scotland’s political environment, and many were in attendence to mark 40 Years of the European Commission Office in Scotland.