[OOC] Discussion on the Role of the Commissioner of Foreign Affairs
In the interest of democracy, I want to start a region-wide discussion on what you see the role of Foreign Affairs Commissioner as in the context of us having a foundered region that can now engage properly in Gameplay on NS. Foreign Affairs has always been a bit of a tricky position, as it has historically been an RP position, elected in the RP, but serves a primarily OOC/GP purpose.
The confirmation of our foreign affairs commissioner-elect was supposed to conclude on April 26th, over a month ago. Our region has had no (official) external representation during that entire time.
Should we continue to have this be an RP position? Should we elect it from the RP? Should we even have this position? Should we form a diplomatic council that can represent the region in times of inactivity? We don't even have diplomats assigned for half our embassies. We have embassies being closed for inactivity and new proposals coming in that need to be evaluated. EU foreign affairs are a huge mess, so please post your thoughts ASAP.
I personally feel it needs to be a hybrid position.
We just need to make it serious position and get the Foreign Affairs Commissioner actively engaged with not just other regions on their forums, but other regions in NS and our own regional GP players. It should serve a function as a communicator between the GP and RP worlds that is so crucially lacking. As someone who probably will never set foot in the GP aspect of NS because it's just too much for me to try and grasp, I would like to have that constant update on what we are doing from the FA Commissioner.
Maybe I'm being selfish in that regard, though.
I don't think the UK is being selfish at all in outlining his expectations - what he's saying is already outlined as exactly that in our Constitution. While our Foreign Affairs Commissioners have famously neglected their roles in the past, I think the current role description of the FA Commissioner requires them to represent the EU as our chief diplomat abroad. In this capacity, I think the Commissioner should be able to appoint ambassadors if they wish, at their discretion, but otherwise representation will always fall on their hands. In this regard, no diplomatic council is necessary. The European Council can always intervene if need be. With our new Commission rules anyway, it's much easier for the Premier or the Council to sack inactive FA Commissioners as it is.
So I think the FA and his/her ambassadors (if they choose to have any) should handle representation and should work on creating and circulating dispatches.
As for the WA Delegate - that should stay ceremonial, no?
Whoever heads our game side military (re: EDF) will be a whole different story. We can presumably cross that bridge once we begin legislating on that matter in the European Council. But this should be done in a way that reconciles with how we RP.
I love how we are moving to include NS gameplay into the region. This opens so many new doors. But let's remember what our biggest strength is: our strong roleplayers and our strong roleplay culture. It's what makes our community unique. Let's not sacrifice that. It's also what makes us special and allows us to offer something fresh and exciting to potential gameplayers. I think we can effectively bring NS gameplay aspects into our RP realm. We need to lead with strengths and assets, not disregard them.
The thing is, if we roll gameplay into our roleplay meta, a player is required to be in the RP in order to do anything else in the region, the same as it currently is. That defeats the point of including gameplay, which is mostly composed of activities that have a lower time/effort investment than RPing. I also feel that gameplay should have a separate vetting process than RP. The RP is our core activity and should be open to everyone who has a nation in the region. GP can be more restrictive since having a say over the appearance of the region / how it votes / being in its military has in-game consequences.
I am happy to submit the creation of a military to the Council, but I don't agree that blending RP and GP always works, and this is one such case. Players might see a "European Defense Force" and vote it down for purely IC concerns when it doesn't affect the RP at all. I have similar concerns about delegate elections. Players might vote for a delegate based on who is in their council caucus, who is their RP ally, etc., instead of who will be active every day approving proposals in the queue, debating in the WA/SC forum, and voting.
Granted, these are just opinions and nudges to get us going. I ultimately don't care any way, as long as we're making progress and doing things.
I want to preface this by saying that you are our NS gameplay expert here, and I trust you in whichever way you want to proceed with this. I also realise you're going to be doing all the heavy lifting in setting this all up, so you ought to really be the one deciding how we move forward. I'm just throwing in my ideas, because I have a small amount of gameplay experience and you've kindly opened this discussion.
The reason why I suggest blending RP and NS gameplay is because I think it'll offer something fresh to gameplayers that are looking for something new. I think it would be a great way to attract new members. On top of this, it would also get our roelplayers more involved in NS gameplay. This is win-win IMO. Plus it's a pretty unique spin. We're such a mature region, with a strong roleplay ethic, I think we could make it work, and I’ll think we could do it in a way that is genuinely exciting for NS gameplayers with little roleplay experience or interest. At the very least, I would only suggest they at least sign-up on our map. Even for the most roleplay-adverse, this probably isn't hard, right?
I think we could get the EDF legislated through the Council, as long as we keep it true to what it is - it's a voluntary force, only aimed at keeping our region safe and cooperating with our allies to keeping other regions safe. With that said, we don't even have to go down that route. The EDF could just be a voluntary, military alliance within the EU that also just operates in NS gameplay. There's many different ways to go about it without legislation (if need be). The inner EPA within me wants to scream and let you know that the only people who would try to vote down the EDF legislation would very likely be your very own European-hating, non-liberal, European Liberals. You really ought to jump off that shipwreck while we're at it. (Just jokes, btw).
One of my other concerns is that by very strictly separating RP and gameplay aspects of our region, we'll end up with quasi-segregated communities, as you've suggested. As I've said time and time again, the #1 thing keeping me in the region (and presumably, everyone else too) is our great community. Our community is so great – the best – the greatest - that even people like our dear Belgian Sam are obsessed with us years after leaving our region. I don't want to ruin it by having very stark sub-groups or communities separated within the region. Plenty of regions in NS have very strongly separated RP and NS gameplay groups. I am particularly knowledgeable of one region with such a problem (read: Lazarus) and it's a constant source of drama. I am equally aware that this actually quite common in NS, and many communities fall victim to this. I’d rather not be one of those regions. I can’t really think of any situation where it’s good to have divorced communities. That’s why I suggest having RP and gameplay crossover.
Besides, we are a mostly roleplay, politics region. Emphasis on politics. It’ll be equally damaging to the greater, roleplay community if our Premiership elections are being decided by random defenders who have no involvement in RP, yet are voting for their buddies in all our elections. I don’t want to have to resort to strange, extreme situations where we to then begin barring members of our regions from participating in elections as a result.
Like I said, you’re the expert here. I’m curious what you have to say as well.
I'd actually rather defer to your judgment on this, as I've never been involved in a GCR or other GP region that keeps its RP separate. Those regions do seem stale and inactive...so you may be totally right, we should present something unique. So, perhaps we keep the FA Commission in its current role, although I'd still like to introduce legislation to help maintain diplomatic stability. The commissioner can continue to appoint and dismiss at will, but I think we should have otherwise permanent diplomats assigned to embassy regions like we used to at one point. So, if things happen and we don't have a confirmed commission for months, there is no lapse in coverage due to uncertain authority to represent the region.
I still think there is a lot of untapped RP potential in our virtually non-existent diplomatic corps. As mentioned at some point in the past, Europolis itself is underutilized and could be a hub for foreign character RP, both for us and other regions' diplomats, who might not get the opportunity for such RP in their home regions. As you know very well, foreign updates, embassies, and diplomat exchanges are typically very dry, boring things on NS...but what if we had a unique offering? Come hang out with us and RP with your diplomat?
Branching slightly off topic a bit, I also think we need a complete overhaul of the recruiting TG, welcome TG, and need a GP forum thread for the region. Making jump point attempt regions has exposed me to a ton of TGs, and most of them are too bland, they wouldn't attract me if I were just starting out. We should be expressing not only what we have to offer, but what a player can get involved in on day 1 and how much fun they could have with us.
Yeah we definitely need to re-work our TGs. Our recruitment telegram isn't nearly as creative or exciting as it could be, and we don't utilise the EU brand name as much as we could. You'd think the EU would easily be one of the most sought after regions in a nation simulation game, especially when it comes to political roleplayers.
Also agreed on the ambassador front. I know some people might argue that we tried that before - but I don't think we really did. I remember we appointed a cohort of ambassadors a while ago, but they were given no instructions or guidance whatsoever, and many of them didn't seem to understand what the role encompassed to begin with.
Europolis RP would be amazing! I definitely believe we should set that up as soon as possible.