About this consultation

Consultation period
12 September 2017 - 5 December 2017
Justice and fundamental rights

Target group

All EU citizens, businesses, organisations as well as public authorities are welcome to contribute to this consultation.

Some questions in the first part of the questionnaire are more specifically targeted to those EU citizens who have had the experience of travelling home on an Emergency Travel Document and in particular on an EU Emergency Travel document, because their passport had been lost, stolen or damaged.

But we would also welcome the views of stakeholders dealing with or providing services to EU citizens who are in need of or travel on an Emergency Travel Document to return back home. This category of stakeholders includes, but is not limited to, public authorities, businesses and business organisations. Universities, research institutes or civil society organisations may also be interested in providing their views to this consultation.

Objective of the consultation

This consultation aims at gathering the views and concerns of all interested citizens, organisations and businesses on how the current EU legislation on the EU Emergency Travel Document (EU ETD) works and on possible options to modernise them to make sure that EU citizens who find themselves without a passport outside the EU, and with no embassy or consulate of their own to help them, can get effective help to travel home. The aim of this consultation is also to enable the Commission to get information and data on the use of Emergency Travel Documents, and in particular the EU ETD, and on policy options that could not be gathered through desk research.

An EU ETD was created in 1996, more than 20 years ago, to provide help to unrepresented EU citizens in distress and to demonstrate the practical benefits of being a citizen of the Union. The applicable legal instrument is Decision 96/409/CFSP on the establishment of an emergency travel document, which defines the common format for such EU ETDs, the circumstances under which they should be issued and their security features.

On 18 January 2011, the Council invited the European Commission to make a proposal for the production of a new EU ETD format containing security features in line with the current practices.

As a first step, on 14 December 2011, the Commission presented a proposal which led to the adoption of Directive 2015/637. The proposal clarified the general framework related to the right of unrepresented citizens to consular protection and included an express reference to issuing Emergency Travel Documents as one of the forms of assistance within the scope of consular protection making the coordination and cooperation measures put forward applicable to ETDs.

In its Action Plan on document security adopted on 8 December 2016, the Commission indicated that the Decision from 1996 which established a common format for emergency travel documents to enable the unrepresented EU citizens to travel home was "(…) after 20 years (…) outdated. Some Member States do not use the Emergency Travel Document due to the fact that it is considered unsecure against document fraud. In the context of this revision, the Commission will explore possibilities also to modernise security features of Emergency Travel Documents."

Moreover, in its 2017 Citizenship Report the Commission committed to "assess how to modernise the rules on emergency travel documents for unrepresented EU citizens [EU ETD], including the security features of the EU common format, to guarantee that citizens can effectively exercise their right to consular protection".]

How to submit your response

You can contribute to this public consultation by filling in the online questionnaire. Should you wish to submit your contribution in another way, please contact JUST-ETD-CONSULTATION@ec.europa.eu

The questionnaire is accessible in all official EU languages. You can submit your reply in any of the 23 official EU languages. As there may be delays in translating replies submitted in some languages, contributions in English are welcome, as they will help to process the survey more swiftly.

You may pause at any time and continue later. Once you have submitted your answers, you can download a copy of your completed responses.

The final question gives you the opportunity to upload documentary evidence or a position paper. In particular, stakeholders affected by the legislation or with specialist knowledge of the topic are invited to share additional data and analyses on specific aspects of the legislation to be considered in the review. Any uploaded documents will be considered a part of your response to the consultation.

All contributions that are received may be published on the internet. It is important that you read the specific privacy statement attached to this consultation for information on how your personal data and contribution will be dealt with.

Additional information