First Minister's speeches in US and France: FOI release

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

Information requested


Regarding speeches made by the FM in Stanford University, Georgetown University, France Assembly and others on recent trips.
My question is:
Were the meetings arrange on an unsolicited or solicited basis??
If on a solicited basis was the approach made by the S.N.P or The Scottish Assembly?
Copies of any correspondence supporting the answer would also be appreciated.



The First Minister was invited to speak before the Foreign Affairs Committee of the French National Assembly by the President of the Committee, Mme de Sarnez, during her visit to Edinburgh in December 2018. The invitation was made orally during a meeting between Mme de Sarnez and Frank Strang (Deputy Director, European Relations) (see Annex A for follow-up invitation).

Through the normal course of its business the Scottish Affairs Office in Washington, DC maintains good relations with higher education institutions in the US, including Georgetown University. The First Minister's speaking engagement came about through regular dialogue between the university and the Scottish Affairs Office. The First Minister was invited to speak at Stanford University (see Annex B).

Annex A - Email from French Consul General in Edinburgh outlining the invitation from Mme de Sarnez to the First Minister to speak before the Foreign Affairs Committee of the National Assembly.

Annex B - Email from the Director of the Europe Center, Stanford University, inviting the First Minister to give a speech.

While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance we are unable to provide some of the information you have requested because exemptions under section 38(1)(b} (personal information).
An exemption under section 38(1 )(b) of FOISA (personal information) applies to some of the information requested because it is personal data of a third party, ie names and contact details of individuals, and disclosing it would contravene the data protection principles in Schedule 1 to the Data Protection Act 1998.


About FOI

The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at

foi-19-00538 Annexes A & B


Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
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