Thirty honorary consuls of foreign countries are currently working in Macedonia. Proud of the honor they were granted, they work to promote the relations between the country that appointed them and the host country, they do not receive a salary, only a fee, but are entitled to other benefits. None of them owns a diplomatic passport, which would protect them from possible criminal prosecution. Businessman Jordan Kamcev is expected to join the consular list, who will defend the colors of Bulgaria.
The Macedonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday also reiterated that after the official request from Sofia, followed a customary legal procedure. Once the request is considered in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, they are asked for an opinion in the Ministry of Finance and the Secretariat for Legislation in the Government. When the documentation is completed, the Minister of Foreign Affairs proposes the candidate of the foreign country to the Government, and if he or she obtains approval, the Minister of Foreign Affairs issues an exequatur, which is akin to the agreement for the ambassadors.
In the Bulgarian media, the “indecent proposal” by Prime Minister Boyko Borisov received very little attention. Rare writers are referring to the already published information from the Macedonian media, and the Sofia daily Dnevnik tried to get some more information from the government, but, they have not received an answer so far. It is noteworthy that this is the richest Macedonian businessman, listing his businesses, relations with the former government of Nikola Gruevski, as well as the ownership of the failed company MPM, which published the newspapers Utrinski vesnik, Vest and Dnevnik. Only journalist and former MP in the Bulgarian Parliament, Velizar Encev, in his harsh article on the Frognews.bg website accuses that it is a scandalous election of the authorities in Sofia.
The owner of Vardar, Sergei Samsonenko, heads the list of honorary consuls in Macedonia. He heads the Russian Consular Department in Bitola. The owner of Alkaloid Zivko Mukaetov is the consul of Denmark, Svetozar Janevski from the investment group “M6” is the representative of Finland, Dr. Sasko Kedev of Indonesia, Branko Azeski from the Chamber of Commerce to Montenegro, Kosta Kostovski (son of Trifun Kostovski) to Poland, Sterjo Nakov (the first man of Fersped) of Romania, Siljan Micevski (the former mayor of Bitola) of Serbia, Nenad Janacevic (president of the Bar Association) of Peru, businessman Ajdovan Ademovski to Turkey…
The international position of Honorary Consuls is regulated by the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations of 1963. Mainly the appointed are materially settled persons, nationals of recipient countries, who have close relations with the country they represent, but there are also exceptions. Usually, smaller countries appoint consuls because they cannot afford to send a career diplomat, and those larger to expand the network in a country where they already have a representative office at the embassy level. Ireland, for example, has an honorary consul in Spain, where many of its citizens own property, but also on the largest Greek islands, where designated Greek nationals help Irish tourists. Honorary consuls do not receive a salary, sometimes they receive a symbolic fee or reimbursement for the expenses for their duties. They are entitled to diplomatic license plates, official identity cards, reserved parking space for the needs of the consulate. Article 41 of the Vienna Convention protects them from arrest, except in cases of serious criminal offenses.
Ajdovan Ademovski is president of the Association of Honorary Consulates in Macedonia. He says that the function itself does not provide big benefits, but it is a great honor and privilege.
“Personally, it is a great pleasure for me to represent the two countries: Macedonia and Greece. My responsibilities are organizing meetings and manifestations from a cultural field, organizing business delegations, presenting investment opportunities … In addition, I am also the President of the Macedonian-Turkish Chamber of Commerce, I have a lot of obligations, but I do all with love. We do not receive a salary, only fees. Our status is governed by the Vienna Convention. Diplomatic immunity does not follow us, so we are not protected if any one of us works illegally. We have a diplomatic ID card, which is more symbolic and is a landmark. I would like to mention that the representation of the state that has appointed you and the state in which you live is a privilege and should be carried out with honesty and honor,” Ademovski said.
The naming procedure itself is complex and long-lasting and it can take months. Consular offices are extraterritorial and excluded from the search, except in the case of a serious criminal offense. With a diplomatic vehicle, they are exempt from customs checkpoints. Media from the region write that there are currently fifty in Serbia, and in Croatia there are about forty foreign consuls. The Kingdom of Yugoslavia had 100 honorary consuls abroad (most of them were denied functions in the Second World War), and SFRY, before the beginning of the 1990 military crisis, had 26 honorary consuls abroad.