Ireland to implement Decisions about consular protection for EU citizens
The Government today authorised the Minister for Foreign Affairs to seek Dáil approval for Ireland to implement two Decisions taken by EU member States on 19 December 1995 regarding protection for E.U. citizens abroad.
The Decisions give legally binding effect to Article 8c of the EC Treaty, as amended by the 1992 Maastricht Treaty. This Article provides that EU citizens who need consular protection in a place where their own countries are not represented, are entitled to the same assistance from Embassies or Consulates of other EU countries as those missions give their own nationals. The situations in which emergency assistance must be given are where an unrepresented E.U. citizen dies, is the victim of a serious accident, illness or crime, or is in distress and requires relief or repatriation.
Given Ireland's relatively small network of Embassies and Consulates abroad, implementation of these Decisions will be of benefit to Irish citizens in countries where we have no resident mission.
The Decisions will come into force when all fifteen EU countries complete the formalities to apply them nationally.