Barcelona City Council | Capital humàBarcelona City Council website

Home  > Job profiles

Get to know this occupation


Diplomats perform multidisciplinary duties that can be summarised in five functions: negotiate, represent, protect their nationals, promote friendly relations and gather information. Just like any other service list in the national civil service, to enter this profession candidates have to join the diplomatic corps through a competitive public examination.

Although it is a generalist career, it has two aspects that are performed alternatively and interchangeably: political duties, which involve representing Spain to other countries and organisations, and consular ones, which entail protecting Spanish citizens and entities abroad before the local authorities.
Their functions are governed by Article 3 of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.


The main duties of a diplomat are as follows:
  • Represent the sending State, insofar as they are recognised as having the authority to perform their duties before the receiving State. This representation is symbolic, legal and political.
  • Protect the interests of the sending State and its nationals in the receiving State within the limits allowed by international law.
  • Negotiate with the government of the receiving State. Diplomatic negotiation is a process by which an agreement is reached about conflicting rights or interests.
  • In the event of incidents, use all lawful means to find out about the status of events and developments in the receiving State and report to the government of the sending State.
  • Promote friendly relations and develop economic, cultural and scientific relations between the sending and receiving States.
  • A diplomat¿s other duties are to analyse current political affairs when assisting a Spaniard arrested abroad, process marriages of Spanish nationals in a consulate, contact the local authorities to ask for information, promote cultural events related to Spain, support Spanish companies, take part in negotiations, communicate with the media, oversee development aid projects and issue visas.
In addition, a diplomat basically follows the instructions received directly from their government, is familiar with the legal rules that determine people's nationality not only in their country of origin but also in the State where they have committed the illegal act, and has the following obligations: to observe the laws and regulations of the State that has received them in the Embassy, not interfere in the internal affairs of their State (this would be in breach of the principle of State sovereignty) and process official communications with the receiving State through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or another Ministry.

Quick access and copyright:

Centre per al desenvolupament professional Porta22

Barcelona Treball (Porta22)
Llacuna, 156-162, 08018 Barcelona

Monday to Friday from 9 to 18 h

Generalitat de Catalunya
Unió Europea FEDER
Unió Europea FSE