Mapping diplomacy – Estonia’s global servants

Estonian-diplomacy-worldwide 2013-11-10 18-05-32


What “c” do Aberdeen, Miami and Tavira have in common? Currency? No. Climate? Certainly not. The “c” in this case stands for consul – honorary consul, to be precise. Of the 193 countries in the United Nations, the Republic of Estonia has a diplomatic presence of some kind in 82 of them, ranging from embassies to consulates-general to honorary consuls. It is in Aberdeen, Miami and Tavira (Portugal) that three of their honorary consuls are located.

Most of us have a reasonable understanding of the work that Estonia’s 32 embassies and five consulates-general do and it can be broken down into two distinct strands; promoting Estonia and its interests, and providing assistance to Estonian nationals abroad upon request.

The work of its 164 honorary consuls is broadly similar, although these honorary servants of the state are neither employed by it nor authorised to officially represent it in diplomatic terms. Their work is a combination of the symbolic (attending events on behalf of the country) and the practical (assisting wayward citizens in returning home or obtaining notarised documents and the promotion of trade ties). These honorary consuls can either be Estonian nationals or citizens of the host country – one notable example of the latter is German businessman Helmut Aurenz, Honorary Consul in Stuttgart.

Mapped below is Estonia’s diplomatic representation using data obtained from the website of the Foreign Ministry. As Europe is the most popular destination for Estonians travelling outside the country then it is no surprise that the continent is the focus for Estonian diplomacy. In comparison, the rest of the world seems somewhat neglected – this is not the case. As citizens of the EU, Estonians have been able to seek consular assistance from any EU embassy or consulate in a country in which Estonia is not represented. For obvious reasons these rules do not apply within the EU itself.

View Estonian worldwide diplomatic representation in a full screen map

Some notes on the map:

Most importantly, do not rely on this map if you are an Estonian travelling abroad. Check the website of the Foreign Ministry for up-to-date information on Estonia’s diplomatic representation within your country of travel. When making the map, street addresses were fed into Google Maps and where they resolved correctly, this point is used as the placeholder. In other cases, the latitude and longitude were used to manually insert a placeholder, although the address does appear if the placeholder is clicked. You may consult this map for any purpose you wish, but if you find yourself stranded with only a compass and a tin-opener, then you may not sue the author nor EstonianWorld.com.

This map only marks Estonian embassies, consulates-general, special missions and honorary consuls that are present and on the ground in each relevant country. For example, some Estonian ambassadors reside in Tallinn or another city outside the country to whom they represent Estonia. For instance, the Estonian Ambassador to Romania does not feature on the map – there is no Embassy in Romania (although there are two honorary consuls) and Ambassador Eerik Marmei resides in Warsaw.

About the author: Chris Glew

Chris Glew is EstonianWorld's London Editor. Chris has also written for other international media outlets, as well as for Estonia's Postimees, Eesti Paevaleht and Delfi.

  • Vincent

    A little problem in France where the Estonian Honorary Consul in Lille is in Fact placed in Lyon!

    • Chris Glew

      Thanks – fixed!

  • Väliseestlane

    Looks quite … expensive

    • Väliseestlane2

      Honorary consul is a non-paid position. Volunteer, in a sense.

  • M Lo

    Good map! I’d add a detail: Switzerland has two honorary consuls. One in Zurich, the other one in Geneve.

    • M Lo

      Found it now — thanks !

  • Catalyna

    In switzerland they’re useless and don’t even speak English, never mind Estonian!