A great spring cleaning is in preparation in québec’s diplomatic network.
The Quebec representatives abroad will be required in the future to acquire a better training, to demonstrate a level of professionalism higher and, most importantly, be appointed for their expertise and not their political affiliation.
This is what emerges, in essence, a working document produced by the ministère des Relations internationales (MRI), and of which The canadian Press obtained a copy on Sunday.
The document in question is the draft of an in-depth reform to come in regards to the selection and training of future diplomats in quebec.
In parallel, the heads of post of the current will be the subject of a professional assessment, commissioned by the minister Nadine Girault.
Throughout this document, the government Legault clearly indicates its commitment to enhancing the quality of the diplomatic corps from quebec and make it something other than a tool of political patronage.
In politisant to the utmost of his diplomatic corps, the Quebec would be the exception rather than the rule, if one compares its practices to those in Europe and elsewhere in North America, one can read in the document that is circulated to the MRI.
In addition, the political appointments to the foreign cause of repatriations expensive when a change of government, not to mention that they undermine the credibility of the persons involved, note-t-on.
In some cases, in recent years, it has offered prestigious positions abroad, to persons having no experience in international relations.
Delegates have therefore had to learn on the job-the delicate job of a diplomat. The coming reform will come to correct this anomaly, it promises to be.
The prime minister François Legault has recently announced its willingness to introduce this spring an “update” of the international policy developed by the former liberal government, to give him a much greater emphasis on economic. The reform of the appointment process and training of heads of post shall constitute a part of this new international policy.
Political appointments : 8 posts
We learned in the discussion paper that the government’s goal is to reduce to a minimum the political appointments abroad.
A never-before-seen : the most positions in a foreign country (heads of post of delegation, heads of a desk or an antenna) would be reserved for officials who are part of the “advisers in international affairs,” and executive employment in the government.
Only the heads of post of the eight delegations general — New York, Paris, London, Brussels, Mexico city, Munich, Tokyo, and Dakar, will continue to be chosen directly by the government, because their functions “often command a political sensitivity”.
Applicants will need to demonstrate, however, of any provisions favourable to particular places of their assignments”.
The general delegation (only one per country) is at the top of the hierarchy of the Québec representations abroad.
Québec’s influence abroad is currently provided by a network of 31 performances installed in 18 countries.
Institute of diplomacy?
Most States have a special school where we teach the craft of a diplomat, but not Quebec.
The government Legault is considering to remedy the situation by creating an institute for the training of diplomats.
“The complexity of international relations and, in particular, commercial relations, as well as the ambitious targets of the government, require to wear the readiness of the representatives of Quebec at a higher level,” observes the MRI.
The proposed reform also insists on the importance of providing continuous training to heads of post based.
From now on, we will ensure that any person who has the privilege of representing Quebec abroad the baggage required to carry out its functions effectively: language skills, intercultural sensitivity, understanding “sharpened” and technological issues, international experience, strong interest in political economy, etc
In view of the prospection of foreign investors that will be at the heart of future policy, “the control of trade and economic agreements would be an integral part of the curriculum of future diplomats in quebec.
The office of the minister Girault has declined to comment on the working paper on Sunday.