Today, the European Union places enormous pressures on the needs for envoys of the highest calibre to fulfill four core functions: First, the Ambassador is the Chief Intelligence Officer of his country; Second, the Ambassador is the Chief Lobbyist for representing his country's national interests to the EU; Third, the Ambassador is the Chief Promoter of his country's industry, trade and economic prosperity; Fourth, the Ambassador is the Chief Advocate who help EU decision-makers understand his country's political realities. The role of the Ambassador to the EU is not confined to being the negotiator and interpreter of his country's foreign policy interests. Today, he is above all a communicator and mediator of his country's positions vis-à-vis the EU institutions. His main business is not discreet and confidential dealings with the foreign ministry back home but Public Diplomacy aimed at explaining and canvassing support for his country among EU circles: the European Commission, the Council, the European Parliament, the political parties, the business community, the social partners, the media and representatives of academic and cultural challenge. To meet this challenge, the Ambassador must build up and cultivate a dense and stable network of contacts in all areas of society. To be credible and convincing in this context, the Ambassador must of couerse be up-to-date on all the main issues on the current European agenda. Lobbying and networking give a better indication of what Public Diplomacy really is: reaching out to people at the EU and Member State level, actively communicating through ongoing dialogue with all sections of the informed public in order to generate interest and understanding for both European and bilateral concerns. Building up and maintaining a network of contacts requires a constant focus on the target group, the repeated demonstration of interest in the EU. Only by that means can mutual trust be established. With this as a background, AALEP has created a special 'DIPLOMAT MEMBERSHIP' reserved only for high-ranking officials of Foreign Missions to the EU . For more information, please contact the AALEP Secretariat  

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