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Vladimir Radunovic February 16, 2012

"E-consulate services" -- March 14, 2010 by Ginger -- Uvais, you made an interesting point about e-consulate services on the e-participation blog, but I would like to bring that discussion back here, where I can tie it into your "E-consulate" emphasis. I am a US born resident of Venezuela, and can confirm that the periodic citizen alerts sent by the US embassy services are very specific and helpful for addressing the current situation in Venezuela. An excellent example of e-consulate and e-services, as well as e-participation. I am still exploring all of the aspects of e-diplomacy and would appreciate reading your opinion on how e-consulates fit into the picture of e-diplomacy, not just e-services and e-participation. Hope to read you soon.

Vladimir Radunovic February 16, 2012

"E-consulate's fit" -- March 15, 2010 by Uvais -- Thanks Ginger. You raise a critical question! One way to address the question of fit is to take out the ‘e’ and ask an age old question: Does ‘consular’ really fit into the picture diplomacy? This debate has been going on for a long time. However, generally, most MFAs would now agree that there is a strong need to promote consular diplomacy. If we put back ‘e’ into the picture, we may say that e-consulates (or e-governance measures) allow the state to have a sort of ‘virtual connect’ with citizens overseas, giving diplomacy that much needed public face, and extending the concept of nation-state beyond one country’s own borders. With citizens scattered across different countries, one state’s map converges into the borders of others. E-consulates can become the network that connects those citizens that form the nation. E-consulates also involve services to non-nationals such as e-visas. This is where the question can get a bit paradoxical, especially whenever it ties with e-participation. For instance, what are the parameters for engagement of non-nationals on a public debate, say on a consular-related topic such the visa regime?

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