European Commission strengthens consular rights to help millions of Europeans abroad

Today, the European Commission has proposed to improve assistance for EU citizens caught in crisis situations – such as those that occurred in Japan, Libya or Egypt this year, and day-to-day emergencies when travelling abroad.
The aim is to ease cooperation between consular authorities and strengthen European citizens’ right to consular protection. EU citizens abroad have the right to ask for assistance from a consulate or an embassy of another EU Member State when their Member State is not represented in the country.
EU Member States must also help citizens evacuate as if they were their own nationals.

Today’s proposals will strengthen these rights by clarifying when a citizen is considered not represented and specifying the type of assistance Member States typically provide in cases of need, such as arrest, serious accident or lost documents.
The Commission has also developed an interactive website on consular protection, which lists the contact details of all EU Member States’ embassies and consulates outside the EU, searchable either by EU nationality or by country.
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