To: The Minister of Foreign Affairs The Hague The Netherlands
Date: 30th of July 2018
Dear Minister Blok,
During the last CHC2018, the Conference of Honorary Consuls in The Hague, last April, you met with many of us. We were able to share ideas and exchange experience. It was said and repeated: “The Honorary Consuls are “the eyes and ears” of The Netherlands in the countries we work.” But that is often theory. In practice, the responsibilities of the Honorary Consuls have been reduced and sometimes even marginalized over the past decade. Our often unique positions in our countries are not always explored to the best and sometimes even ignored. There are possibilities where the position of the Honorary Consul can be used better to serve the Netherlands, the Netherlands citizens living in our countries and also serve better the countries we live in. We like to mention a few. (..)
Daarna volgen klachten over het feit dat ze geen rol spelen in: afgifte van paspoorten , identificatie van mensen, opstellen van het (nogal eens onjuiste) reisadvies van Buitenlandse Zaken. En verder over de regel dat ze bij bereiken van de 70-jarige leeftijd ontslagen worden, onvoldoende reiskostenvergoeding krijgen en beknot worden in hun contacten met de pers en mogelijkheden te publiceren.
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