On 23–24 April 2019, Latvian consular staff working abroad gather in Riga for a discussion on matters of common concern in consular work, including changes to its legal framework.
“The daily routine of consular officers in providing consular assistance and services abroad is complicated and involves high workload, especially in small embassies. Although consular work sometimes goes unnoticed, I would like to reconfirm its high importance in offering support for people and building an overall image of Latvia,” the State Secretary of the Foreign Ministry, Andris Pelšs, underlined as he opened the training session.
This year’s training places focus on the issues of consular assistance, including cooperation with other European Union Member States, as well as on sharing experience and seeking the most effective solutions to ensure consular assistance to our nationals in crisis situations in third countries and discussing the consular crisis management mechanisms.
In the present-day digital world, new solutions have also been found for consular services. During the training session, experts form the Latvian State Radio and Television Centre and the State Regional Development Agency will inform consular staff about creating an e-address and the use of an e-signature in order to promote the knowledge of e-services and their wider use beyond the borders of Latvia.
The Chairperson of the Central Election Commission, Kristīne Bērziņa, will speak about preparations for and the conduct of European Parliament elections at the polling stations set up abroad, and outline the possibilities of a postal vote.
The year 2018 has brought changes to the recording of consular service fees, and therefore these matters are given special attention at this year’s training. Consular officers abroad provide about 240,000 paid services annually, which brings approximately 9 million euros to the national budget of Latvia. In the light of this, more practical and effective solutions are sought to the recording of services and fees collected.
This year’s training event brings together 57 participants – the Foreign Service staff. Annual training sessions for consular officers have been held since 1995. They have become a tradition that ensures the sharing of information and experience and discussing current trends in consular matters.
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