Welcome to the Home of Consular Corps!
Consular Corps includes all Honorary Consuls representing foreign countries in Finland. Honorary Consuls are official representatives of their countries and work with various task related to the countries they represent. All Honorary Consuls work as part-time.
The Honorary Consul system is governed worldwide by the so called Vienna Convention. This agreement, accepted by the member countries of the United Nations stipulates in detail the duties and rights of the Honorary Consuls working as members of the diplomatic staff in each country.
The first Consul to work in the Finland area was appointed back in 1779. The Consular Corps of Helsinki began its activities in 1925. Even before that some Honorary Consuls were appointed to work in Helsinki and Finland. Nowadays Consular Corps are an active society representing around 100 different countries in Finland. We also join together for regular luncheons and other events where also representatives of Diplomatic Missions in Finland are welcome to join us. Please click here more about the events.
Finland was also one of the founding members of FICAC, The World Federation of Consuls in 1982.
Who are Honorary Consuls and what they do?
All Honorary Consuls in Finland represent various sector of business life, culture and academia and the connection to their representing countries comes often from those connections made in their work life.
The Honorary Consuls are divided in three categories; (1) Consul Generals who mostly represent their countries in all Finland, (2) Consuls who either act in an agreed region or in all Finland and (3) Vice Consuls who normally assist either consul generals or consuls or act as their deputies.
The Honorary Consuls have to be persons of good reputation who commit themselves to look after their consular duties diligently. The requirements for an Honorary Consul generally include a comprehensive work experience and in most cases an academic degree. In addition they have to be able to give their time to look after their consular assignments and do so without economic compensation.
There are around two hundred Honorary Consuls in Finland; currently total 16 Hon. Consul Generals, 179 Honorary Consuls and 9 Honorary Vice Consuls and they are spread around whole Finland.
The duty of the Honorary Consuls is to look after and safeguard the interests of the country they represent and whenever necessary, advice and assist the citizens of that country in the country where they are acting with various issues. According to the Vienna Convention the Honorary Consuls work without any salary or other economical remuneration.
In those cases where the sending country has a Diplomatic Mission i.e. Embassy in Finland, the Honorary Consuls are working primarily as a local advisor to the Head of the Mission, in most cases the Ambassador. The Honorary Consul may also look after many liaison duties. The tasks of Honorary Consuls varies slightly by the practices of each country.
How the Honorary Consuls are nominated ?
The Honorary Consuls are nominated and appointed by the Head of State or the Foreign Minister of the so called Sending State. The appointment has to be accepted by the so called Receiving State – so in this case Finland – and it’s Foreign Ministry. The Honorary Consul cannot start his or her activities and use the title of Honorary Consul before having been granted a document of acceptance, a so called Exequatur, signed by both the Sending and the Receiving Country. Which countries are represented by Honorary Consuls in Finland? Please read more here.
The Organisation and Board of Consular Corps in Finland
As head of the Consular Corps acts its Dean (Doyen), who is all the acting Chairman of the Board of Consular Corps in Finland, a registered association in Finland and nominated for a three years period. The Dean is responsible for looking after the contacts between the Consular Corps and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and also contacts to the Diplomatic Corps accredited to Finland. Dean also represents the Consular Corps in contacts with other authorities and is assisted in the administration of the Consular Corps by an Administrative Commission, designated the Board.
The Dean of the Consular Corps is also the Chairman of the Board and is responsible for the activities of the Corps.