EU rules on consular protection
Although primary responsibility for providing consular protection to nationals in non-EU countries lies with their home government, every EU Member State is legally committed to help any EU citizen whose country has no embassy/consulate in that country under the same conditions as own nationals.
- Article 23 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union
- Article 46 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union
- Article 35 of the Treaty on European Union
- Article 20 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union – gives all EU Member States' nationals the status of "EU citizen", which also gives them the right to consular protection.
More information about EU citizenship is available on the European Commission's online information portal, Your Europe.
- Decision 95/553/EC – consular protection for EU citizens
- Decision 96/409/CSFP – establishing an emergency travel document – for issue to EU citizens in countries where their country of origin has no permanent diplomatic or consular representation.
Aiming to further strengthen cooperation between different EU Member States' embassies/consulates, these guidelines set out specifically what the "lead state" should do, both before and during emergencies, to ensure EU citizens get the help they need.
The main tasks of the lead state are detailed in section 2.1 of the guidelines.