The Scottish Parliament is an open, participative and progressive parliament. Other parliaments, governments and organisations around the world often want to meet and learn from us and discuss issues of mutual interest. As a young organisation, we are keen to learn from the experience and expertise of others across the range of our responsibilities. This assists the Parliament and its Members in fulfilling their role. Visits also increase awareness of the Scottish Parliament in the outside world and give Scotland greater global influence.
The framework for the Scottish Parliament’s International Strategy is agreed by the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body at the start of each parliamentary session. Implementation of the Strategy is taken forward by the International Relations Office (IRO) which supports the Presiding Officer and other MSPs when they represent the Scottish Parliament both in the Parliament and on international visits. The Office also provides the secretariat to the Scotland Branch of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (of which all MSPs are members) and secretariat functions to the British Irish Parliamentary Assembly.
For examples of the work we do, you may also wish to read about our recent International Activity and the work of the Presiding Officer in representing the Scottish Parliament at home and abroad.
Arranging a Visit:
The Scottish Parliament welcomes parliamentarians from across the world. To arrange programmes which meet the needs of our visitors and the Parliament, we ask that requests to visit are made well in advance. We are not normally able to arrange visits with less than four weeks’ notice or during parliamentary recesses. Please be aware that the International Relations Office only deals with parliamentary visits, all other interested parties who wish to arrange a visit/tour of the Scottish Parliament should contact Visitor Services. For further information on arranging a visit, please see:
Frequently Asked Questions
Visit Information Form
Fergus Cochrane +44 (0) 131 348 5270 - [email protected]
Head of International Relations
Fergus is responsible for the overall management of the IRO in supporting the implementation and evaluation of the Parliament’s International Strategy; developing relationships between the Parliament and other legislatures; and providing the Presiding Officer & Deputy Presiding Officers with advice relating to their roles as the Parliament’s representatives on international engagement activities.
Margaret Neal +44 (0) 131 348 5323 - [email protected]
International Relations Officer & Secretary to CPA Scotland Branch
Margaret is Secretary to the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) Scotland Branch and develops CPA focused inward and outward visits. She co-ordinates activities between parliamentarians and officials in Commonwealth countries, e.g. Malawi and Scotland, and develops and delivers CPA led events.
Steven Bell +44 (0) 131 348 6926 - [email protected]
International Relations Officer
Steven deals with all matters relating to inward parliamentary delegations including the drafting of political briefing and advice for the Presiding Officers and Members. He liaises with the Scottish Consular Corps and others, to establish visit objectives and plans and implements visit programmes. Steven also provides secretariat support to the Scottish Parliament’s five full members on the British Irish Parliamentary Assembly (BIPA). In the current Parliamentary Session they are: Linda Fabiani MSP (Deputy Presiding Officer and delegation leader), Willie Coffey MSP, John Scott MSP, Pauline McNeill MSP and Ross Greer MSP.
Steven Jones +44 (0) 131 348 5328 - [email protected]
Assistant International Relations Officer
Steven assists in the development and implementation of inward and outward engagements with a particular focus on providing front-line support to visiting delegations. Steven also provides full logistical support and guidance on travel and accommodation needs for inward and outward delegations and makes arrangements for outward visit programmes and the Presiding Officer’s outward visits.
Email: [email protected]
The International Relations Office
The Scottish Parliament
Tapadh leibh (thank you!)