Consular and Diplomatic Protection: Legal Framework in the EU Member States
Final Report of the CARE (Citizens Consular Assistance Regulation in Europe) Project, 2010
719 Pages Posted: 6 Feb 2012 Last revised: 22 Dec 2013
Date Written: December 1, 2010
The Report presents the legislation and practice of the 27 EU Member States as to the consular (and diplomatic) protection of their own citizens, of other Union citizens and their non-EU family members, resident foreign citizens, stateless persons, refugees and persons benefiting by secondary international protection. It also proposes a comparative analysis of the legal framework and practice of the 27 Member States, highlighting, where it is the case, any discrepancies found between the legal frameworks of EU Member States.
A chapter of the Report presents conclusions and recommendations as final results of the analysis carried out during the CARE project. It deals with (i) the EU law framework, focusing on the content of the right enshrined in Arts. 20(2)(c) and 23 TFEU and on the EU competences; (ii) legislation and practice on consular protection of the EU countries, presenting an unsatisfactory scenario regarding the full implementation and judicial guarantees of Art. 23 TFEU; (iii) actions that can be taken by the Member States independently of the adoption of Union legislative measures and, finally, (iv) the initiatives that can be carried out by the EU institutions for harmonising the field of consular and diplomatic protection of Union citizens.
The comparative analysis proposed by this Report emphasises the need to adopt a Union legal measure, collecting the norms regulating the field of consular and diplomatic protection in one instrument, an instrument that, in addition to the legal certainty and transparency, will provide for the necessary judicial guarantees of the Union citizens’ right to consular and diplomatic protection. This measure is finally possible on the basis of Art. 23(2) TFEU, probably being the only measure able to clarify the confusion surrounding the EU norms on consular protection. In a similar vein, the Chapter also specifically highlights some actions strongly recommended for inclusion in the future Council Directive.
Keywords: Consular protection, Consular assistance, EU law, EU Member States, Article 23 TFEU, European Citizenship
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