Travellers from the European Union who run into problems should be able to use any of the EU’s 27 members’ consular services abroad.
Brussels has proposed the members start using an EU treaty provision. This says that citizens from the bloc can use another EU state’s consulate if their country is not represented in a foreign nation.
But few people are aware of it.
Under the European Commission’s proposals, EU states would launch an information campaign about joint consular services. This would definine, reinforce and possibly standardise protection offered. The plan could also lead to some EU countries pooling consular offices. In 18 countries not one of the EU states has consular represention.
The EU executive recommends what the 27 member states can do to help travellers who lose their passport or get arrested, or if a family member dies outside the bloc.