"Almost 7 million European Union citizens travel through or live in countries outside of the EU where their own country has no embassies or consulates. Starting tomorrow, all EU citizens will have the right to be treated equally when they need assistance outside of the EU. The new regulation will strengthen citizens' rights, and represents a strong expression of European solidarity," commented the European Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality, Vera Jourova, today.
From the 1st of May European Union citizens who are travelling outside of the EU can approach any embassy or consulate from an EU member country to seek assistance, if their country of origin does not have representation.
This directive was passed in 2015 and as of tomorrow will come into force.
Besides assistance at times of crisis, EU citizens can also benefit from requesting consular protection in cases of serious illness, when being victim of a crime, when arrested, or in cases of the loss or theft of passport when abroad. Requests for the issue of emergency travel documents account for more than 60 percent of all cases of consular assistance to unrepresented citizens.