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Honorary Consuls In An Era Of Globalization, Trade, And Investment

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Chapter Summary


This introductory chapter intends to give a general grasp of what consular affairs are all about and delves into various themes and issues from the perspective of diplomatic studies. First, it shows how the core function of consular affairs has radically been transformed throughout history, roughly speaking from special judicial responsibilities and the promotion and facilitation of particular trade flows to the assistance of individual citizens living or travelling overseas in any conceivable capacity. Second, one way or another the consular function has always been enmeshed with diplomacy. Third, and put briefly, the 'consular perspective' has always been tied up with unfolding transnational relations instead of mere inter-state relations. Finally, the chapter shows that in modern times the growth in the structural demand for different types of consular services responded to sweeping economic and social change in periods that were characterized by a thickening of international relations.

Keywords:consular affairs; diplomacy


This chapter explores the development of consular affairs in the framework of an integrated Europe. It provides an overview of the European Union's (EU) role as an agent of transformation of state sovereignty and, in particular, of modern diplomacy. It describes the main features of the consular function and offers a brief introduction to the main fields affected by EU membership, with a special emphasis on developments in the consular assistance and protection regime. The chapter presents an analysis of the legislative harmonization that is being carried out in the framework of the common visa policy, especially those aspects regarding local consular cooperation. It explores the main characteristics of the cooperation and evaluates its practical implementation. The chapter ends with some concluding remarks concerning the main challenges to laying the foundations for a European overseas consular sphere.

Keywords:consular affairs; European Union (EU); integrated Europe; legislative harmonization




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