European Integration - Realities and Perspectives. Proceedings 2016
The Contribution of the European Convention
on Consular Functions to the Development of International Law
Abstract: In this paper we have analyzed issues concerning the contribution of the Council of Europe to the
codification of consular law by adopting the European Convention on Consular Functions of 1967 and the
Protocols to this Convention, in order to standardize the experience and European cooperation in this matter.
We have highlighted the regional regulatory nature of this international act and the complementarity and
compatibility with the 1963 Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, to the extent that the latter includes
only a su mmary regulation of the consular functions. For the elaboration of the paper we have used as
research methods the analysis of problems generated by the mentioned subject with reference to doctrinal
views e xpressed in treaties and papers, the documentary research, the interpretation of legal norms in the
Keywords: consular functions; international law; Council of Europe
The topic on consular protection occupies an important place in specialized literature, and consular
responsibilities developed along with the challenges generated by the increase of demand for consular
services and the interest of states to materialize into international agreements, multilateral and bilateral
cooperation to meet concrete needs of beneficiaries of consular assistance.
Consular functions represent all the attributions that their consulates and consular staff have and they
represent the contents of consular relations. They have generated the appearance of consular institution
and they have been the basis for its further development. Maresca believed that consular functions’
system is able to reveal multiple and complex relationships created by the consular law (Maresca,
1972, p. 135).
The responsibilities of consular representatives were established by customs, treaties and multilateral
and bilateral consular conventions, depending on the interests of the states (Malita, 1975, p. 258;
Oppenheim, 1920, p. 837). Ion M. Anghel believes that the consular officer “focuses on his own
person” within the consular circumspection where he has the right to act, “all the skills of the
authorities who are in charge to solve various situations that may arise concerning the interests of the
sending State and its citizens” (Anghel, 2011, p. 594), which makes them difficult to inventory
1 Professor, PhD, “Danubius” University of Galati, Faculty of Law, Romania, Address: 3 Galati Blvd, Galati, Ro mania, tel:
+40372 361 102, fax: +40372 361 290. Corresponding author: email@example.com.