Changes at the French Consulate
Message from the Consul general Emmanuel Cocher - 25/09/15
The map of French diplomatic and consular representations in the world is under constant review in keeping with the evolution of French interests and relationships across the world and the constraints of public finances.
Particular efforts are being made to modernise consular services so as to adjust them to the needs of French citizens, residents and visitors, abroad (increasing number of online procedures, possibility to apply anywhere in France or overseas when in person procedures are still required) and to growing numbers of visa applications (outsourcing to specialized agencies).
French official services in Scotland are being modernised in 2015-2016 in line with the above mentioned context, meaning :
- an increasingly cultural and political focus, relevant to the evolution of devolved powers to Scottish institutions and to intense exchanges, partnerships and shared projects in these fields ; since September 2015 the Consul General of France has been in charge of the direction of the French cultural institute (Institut français d’Ecosse) ;
- simplified consular administration, with an outsourced visa bureau opening in November 2015 and new services for French citizens, starting during the summer of 2016, including the development of online services, wider opening hours at the Edinburgh office, specialized service to accommodate special needs, all with increased administrative support from the consulate general of France in London ;
- a real estate project to better accommodate and integrate the functions of the consulate general of France and the institut français d’Ecosse, in a new location to be identified at the heart of the Scottish capital city, more welcoming and practical for a varied public ; this project should include in addition restoration works at the Scottish Free French House, the figurehead of French presence in Edinburgh and the official residence of the consul general on Calton Hill, which was inaugurated by General de Gaulle, head of Free France, in 1942.
Press release 11/12/14
A decision has been taken to focus the work of the French Consulate General in Edinburgh on outreach. It will continue promoting political, economic and cultural relations, building on the excellent ties between France and Scotland, which are an important aspect of the exceptional bonds between France and the United Kingdom.
Some consular services will be transferred to our Consulate General in London. This will be prepared long enough in advance and done in the easiest way possible for French citizens living in Scotland. It is part of a general trend in Europe.
The French Consulate in Edinburgh is here to stay. Our political, commercial and cultural ties with the Scottish people and companies, as well as with the Scottish and British governments in Scotland, will be completely unaffected.