Consulate appointment a ‘significant gesture’ for French

Emilie Tran

professor who has held positions in both Hong Kong and Macau has been appointed as a consular adviser for the Consulate General of France in Hong Kong and Macau.

The academic, Dr. Emilie Tran, is currently an assistant professor at the Hong Kong Baptist University in the Department of Government & International Studies, and was formerly a professor and researcher at the University of St. Joseph, Macau.

The position of Conseillers Consulaires (consular advisers) was created by a law passed in France on July 22, 2013, which reformed the governance of the representation of French nationals living abroad.

For this position, officials are elected through direct universal suffrage by overseas French. The first such elections were held in 2014, and each mandate lasts for six years.

The representatives liaise with the members of the French parliament – the Senate and the National Assembly – to whom these officials relay the concerns of French people living overseas.

“As I was the warden for the French living in Macau for many years, I was invited to join the campaign and my list back then in 2014 was the only one that included a French [national] from Macau,” Tran told the Times.

“It was then a significant gesture as the French in Macau might feel somewhat remote from the French community, since the French General consulate and French school are located in Hong Kong,” she added.
The advisers also elect the representatives to the Assemblée des Francais de l’Étranger, an assembly of 90 consular advisers, as well 12 senators (French Senate) and 11 legislators (National Assembly) representing the overseas French.

“Since the French community is very large in Hong Kong, we are four [consular advisers] for Hong Kong and Macau — representing different political parties. Actually, my list is independent, not affiliated to any party in particular,” said the official.

“I share the same concerns as my fellow countrymen and women: schooling our children in a place with no French school – as it was the case in Macau – social security and retirement, taxation in our home country, [and so on],” Tran concluded.

Tran has been living in China for the past 19 years in regions including Shanghai, Hong Kong and Macau. She has been a contributor for Macau Daily Times since 2012. LV

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