Caring for Citizens Abroad: The European Union and Consular Tasks

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Series Details Vol.19, Issue 4, December 2014, p563–580
Publication Date December 2014
ISSN 1384-6299
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Since the early 1990s, the European Union has been working to establish a common framework ensuring consular protection for Union citizens in third countries. In the meantime, the practical need for consular assistance of unrepresented Union citizens in third countries has only increased, resulting in the progressive elaboration of the Union's legal and institutional framework necessary to deliver such assistance. This article discusses the law, policies and practices that are in place and those to come, taking account of the 2011 Commission proposal for a Directive and the real-life alterations in consular protection the proposal may effectuate. In spite of favourable conditions for further development of common consular protection, various legal, institutional and political hurdles continue to impede an effective and coherent implementation of the individual right to consular protection of Union citizens.

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