“Diplomacy changes. More than before, it’s about power play, about thinking in terms of power relationships. Fortunately, little changes have been made to the work views of Dutch ambassadors Caspar Veldkamp (ambassador to Greece until September 2019) and Ines Coppoolse (ambassador to Sweden). “Diplomacy is all about content and persuasion,” says Veldkamp. Coppoolse: “You approach a host country with actual felt curiosity and respect.”
Veldkamp and Coppoolse have been working for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (BZ) in various positions for some time. Veldkamp worked in Poland, the United States, Israel and Greece. But also in the Netherlands, in administrative The Hague. Coppoolse was in the UK, Austria and now Sweden in the ministry. Before that, she had a number of temporary placements for Foreign Affairs in Sudan, Russia, Libya, and Angola.
For both diplomats, it applies that they have, as it were, rolled into the profession of ambassador. Veldkamp: “There is not a moment when you think: now I will become an ambassador. You don’t become a professional soldier to become a general per se, do you? You have to find the subject and the content fascinating, not just the rank or title. “I never thought about it before, “adds Coppolse. “I am also completely insensitive to status. For me, it was about the content of the work, the results that you can achieve. I noticed that working with and for other organizations in the Netherlands was also very inspiring. Not only at an embassy, but also in the Netherlands itself, in The Hague. ”
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