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Foreign Minister Schallenberg Opens 2022 Consular and Administrative Conference

AUSTRIA, July 6 - At this year’s Consular and Administrative Conference, Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg welcomed the administrative directors of the Austrian representations in Vienna. He emphasised the importance of direct exchanges between colleagues in Austria and abroad, particularly at a time when the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine has marked the start of a global shift and as the COVID pandemic persists.

Consular work is the face of the Foreign Ministry for Austrians who live abroad and for those who are travelling. Thanks to the professional work of our staff at the representations, particularly during the various crises, the BMEIA team has been able to offer people support in uncertain times,

stated Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg.

From 6 to 8 July, the Consular and Administrative Conference gave the Foreign Ministry employees, who are currently posted in more than 100 representations abroad, the opportunity to talk about their experiences with the current challenges. The topics of cybersecurity and migration were highlighted as two areas that will require special attention and even closer collaboration in the future in order to respond quickly and in a targeted way. In addition, the conference gave participants the opportunity to learn from best-practice examples and to gain a wide range of further knowledge through various workshops and presentations about passport rules, visa issues and innovation projects.

Especially now, when we find ourselves in such a tense geopolitical situation, it is essential for the employees at the representations to be well connected and fully up to date in their area of expertise. That way we can provide people with the fastest possible help and support they need in emergency situations,

said Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg.

The Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs currently employs about 220 people in consular posts at the various representations worldwide. In order to remain well equipped for future crises and challenges, additional hiring processes are once again taking place this year.