Further Improvement of the Consular Protection of EU Citizens

Further Improvement of the Consular Protection of EU Citizens

2012. 10. 25.

'The adoption of the directive-proposal on consular protection and its implementation in the future is proof of the existence of the inter-state solidarity inside the EU and the ability to mobilize this' – said Kinga Gál,  Vice-chair of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs after the vote.

The proposal, whose  rapporteur is Edit Bauer MEP, a representative of the Hungarians of Slovakia, strengthens the defence of the EU citizens in the most unprotected and vulnerable situations – they are given a helping hand in these moments because of belonging to the EU. According to the recently voted proposal those of the Member States having representation in a given region, have to give the same assistance to the EU citizens  not  having  any  representation in the given country as to their own nationals. They also have to give protection and assistance in case one could only reach its consulate with disproportionate efforts, ie. the journey would take more than a day.

Kinga Gál underlined, that this directive is a major step forward in the international protection of the Hungarian citizens, too. 'It gives protection in the worst situations anywhere in the world outside the EU, if their position or journey back to home would become impossible because of suffering an accident, violence or robbery, natural disaster or loosing the personal documents' – she pointed out.

'We have a special interest in that part of the directive that increases the role of the European External Action Service, the EU missions and representations, and the coordination of the consular protection also. At this point I am referring for instance to the ongoing case of Előd Tóásó, a Hungarian citizen imprisoned in Bolivia. This directive is an important gesture of the Parliament, the Council and the Commission towards our own citizens' – added the EPP politician Kinga Gál.