Friends of Croatia: Basic Diplomacy Requirements
April 29, 2021 – The second article in the “Friends of Croatia” series covering all things diplomatic, takes a look at basic terms of diplomacy both for a more accessible sequel to the series, as well as for travel more secure and to be more informed in general.
When exploring Croatian diplomatic relations, terms such as diplomats, embassies, ambassadors and consulates are the key words for the topic. Diplomacy is of course important for countries to communicate, express and organize mutual cooperation, defend their respective interests and offer help to their citizens in another country. But what is it for what and who is for whom?
The embassy is for everything, the consuls are for the little details
As Postoffice.uk points out, for a fellow traveler, these questions might not be too important, but having a little anecdotal knowledge never hurts.
An embassy is the basis of a country’s diplomatic mission abroad – that is, all political, cultural and social relations between the two countries. There will only be one embassy for a nation in another country, as that is where the country’s ambassador works (and sometimes resides). A consulate is where consular services are provided. Embassies will normally have a consular section. Although there is only one British Embassy in the country you are visiting, there may be a number of consulates. These would usually be found in more touristy towns, ” Postoffice.uk writes.
It should be noted that while the above explanation is written from the UK perspective, this difference applies to any country.
The Thought.com page illustrates this very well, explaining the difference in the case of the United States of America.
An embassy is responsible for representing the country of origin, handling major diplomatic issues (such as negotiations), and safeguarding the rights of its citizens abroad. Consulates (and their chief diplomat, the consul) deal with minor diplomatic issues such as issuing visas, helping with trade relations, and caring for migrants, tourists and expatriates, ” Thought.com writes. . The site adds that usually when a country recognizes another as sovereign, an embassy is created to maintain external relations and provide assistance to citizens on the move.
Embassies and consulates can help a person in many areas. For example, if you lose your passport, diplomatic representatives can get you a new one. If you do get sick, they can offer you the contacts of local doctors or lawyers in case you are a victim of a crime.
They cannot provide you with health care of a different standard from what already exists in the country, nor conduct any investigation themselves; they can’t even pay you any money or offer you compensation, but the contacts they can provide and the advice they can give you can help you immensely when you get out of a foreign country.
This is why it is important to know where the embassies or consuls of your country are located in the country you are visiting. But don’t expect them to help you if you find yourself in conflict with the law of another country as they cannot interfere in those legal processes with regards to the sovereignty of another country. nation. Despite this, they can give you lists of lawyers and guides to legal proceedings in the country you are visiting, visit you if you are arrested, and keep in touch with your family to let them know what has happened. . While you won’t hopefully find yourself in a dire situation, it’s always best to travel while being as informed as possible. Usually, a little common sense and decency will help you avoid such incidents.
Your country also hosts embassies from other countries, and you can visit them if you want to travel to another country to check your visa requirements. Keep in mind that in embassies, the country where the embassy is located does not have jurisdiction over the embassy, and you may be arrested at the embassy by security forces or seek protection to avoid be arrested by the forces of the country where the embassy is located. in. The still controversial Julian Assange, who took refuge at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London to avoid arrest is perhaps the best-known example, and he was only arrested by British police. after negotiations with Ecuador.
Ambassador and diplomat: the same job, but the ambassador is the boss
Fingers are the same as all toes, but not all fingers are toes – the Ambassador is the highest ranking of all Embassy diplomats.
The ambassador is the embassy’s top official and acts as the chief diplomat and spokesperson for the home government of that embassy. Ambassadors are usually appointed by the highest level of the home government. In the United States, ambassadors are appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate, ” writes Thought.com.
As Wikidiff compares, the ambassador is “ a minister of the highest rank sent to a foreign court to represent his sovereign or his country. (Sometimes referred to as Ambassador in Residence) ” or “ a messenger and official representative ”. A diplomat, in essence, is, as Wikidiff continues: “ A person who is accredited, such as an ambassador, to officially represent a government in its dealings with other governments or international organizations. ”
Marc Finaud, the head of arms proliferation at the Geneva Security Policy Center (an international foundation for the promotion of building and maintaining peace, security and stability), writes that diplomats have five main tasks in accordance with the Vienna International Convention on Diplomatic Relations from 1961. ” Representation, protection of national interests, negotiations, reports and promotion of friendly relations. These skills may also be of interest to non-diplomats engaged in professional activities involving contact with foreign people or cultures, ” writes Marc Finaud for GCSP.
Diplomacy is interesting, stimulating and above all, an important profession, and one can write much more about it than this text. Still, these are the basic facts of diplomacy to follow in this series and to organize safer and better informed overseas travel.
To learn more about the “Friends of Croatia” series, follow the dedicated TCN page.
To learn more about politics in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page.