Nicola Sturgeon is to meet with EU nationals living in Scotland in a public question and answer event in a bid to provide "reassurance and certainty" in the wake of the Brexit vote. About 450 people from 24 different countries are expected to attend the event in Edinburgh on Wednesday (17 August), marking the first time senior politicians in the UK have been grilled by EU citizens living in the UK.
It comes after Theresa May's government had refused to guarantee the rights of EU migrants residing in post-Brexit Britain, saying it first wanted to safeguard the position of British expats living in the EU.
The First Minister, who voted to remain in the EU on 23 June along with 62% of Scotland, attempted to strike a different tone on announcing next week's Q&A event. She said EU migrants were "very welcome" and had brought a wealth of social, economic and cultural benefits to Scotland.
"Scotland spoke loudly and clearly when it delivered an unequivocal vote to remain in the EU," she said. "It is my duty as First Minister to speak on behalf of all Scottish citizens, including those who have chosen to come from other parts of the EU and make Scotland their home.
"They have brought a wealth of social, economic and cultural benefits and have enriched our society. And as I said on the day after the referendum, they remain very welcome here.
"My cabinet and I are determined to provide reassurance and certainty, wherever we can, to those who have come to Scotland and have contributed so valuably. Our priority is to protect Scotland's interests, and the interests of everyone living, working and studying here.
"That's why I, alongside my cabinet, am considering all possible options to protect Scotland's continuing relationship with and place in Europe for future generations."
The event at the Edinburgh Corn Exchange comes as Sturgeon and her cabinet continue to explore whether Scotland could remain part of the EU after the UK triggers Article 50 and leaves. She has already travelled to Brussels to meet EU officials and last week visited Berlin where she spoke with German ministers.
On Saturday, Sturgeon pointed to a "reverse Greenland" option as one possible solution, which would see England and Wales leave the EU while Scotland, Northern Ireland and Gibralter remained.
It would take inspiration from when Greenland withdrew from the EEC in 1985 while the rest of the Kingdom of Denmark remained.