The Consulate General has five main areas of responsibility:
Assisting American citizens via the provision of Consular Services.
Promoting U.S. businesses and greater trade between the U.S. and the south of France and Monaco.
Articulating and advancing official United States Government positions and American values
Supporting the U.S. Navy’s Sixth Fleet in connection with ship visits to Mediterranean ports in France and Monaco
Conducting diplomatic relations with the Principality of Monaco
Below is a description of the Consulate’s main activities in each area:
American Citizen Services
Some 26,000 Americans are believed to live in the consular district. There are also more than 1,000,000 visitors each year to the south of France. Robberies targeting tourists are frequent and during the period May – August 2007, Marseille issued more than 700 passports, over 200 of which were to persons who had been robbed along the Riviera. Persons needing immediate services may visit the consulate. Applications and payments are accepted at the American Presence Post in Toulouse. Those two offices send, via overnight mail, the applications to Marseille for processing. Marseille also handles regular prison visits, child custody cases and helps Americans to work with French authorities. In addition it works with the families in the U.S. of Americans who die in the district, to repatriate bodily remains and dispose of property.
Promoting business and trade
The south of France is of great interest to U.S. manufacturers and investors. As France’s “sunbelt” it has already attracted a large concentration of U.S. firms in France, especially in high-tech fields. The U.S. Commercial Service and the Consul General constantly explore new opportunities for American firms and support the Mediterranean American Business Network, which promotes dialogue and networking amongst U.S. business in the region.
Advancing U.S. Government positions and American values
The Consul General and deputy Consul General make frequent speaking appearances throughout the consular district to influence public opinion on issues of interest to the American Government and to push for greater understanding of American values. Forums include civic organizations, university gatherings, talk shows on radio and television, schools, ceremonies commemorating the two World Wars, and other kinds of official events. They also work with the Embassy in Paris to bring expert speakers to the consular district from the embassy or other entities.
Supporting the U.S. Navy
The Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) has an office in Marseille which is staffed by one special agent. This office handles security arrangements for all U.S. Navy ship visits to France and for all of French-speaking Africa. The Consulate General also handles protocol and morale aspects of ship visits, including liaison with officials.