03 Jul 2007

The External Dimension of EU Citizenship: Arguing for Effective Protection of Citizens Abroad

Florian Geyer

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Diplomatic and consular protection of EU citizens in third countries is one of the individual entitlements connected with the status of citizenship of the Union. Yet this right is not well known and criticism has emanated from the European Parliament that it is still at the theoretical stage. Recent events such as the tsunami in South-East Asia or the 2006 Lebanon crisis have highlighted the need to work together efficiently to assist and protect EU citizens abroad. The European Commission has lately finalised a major public consultation on future steps that should be taken in this regard and it is expected that a Communication will be issued in the second half of 2007. This Policy Brief, based on CEPS’ contribution to this public consultation, addresses some of the main questions raised in the consultation process and provides a concise set of policy recommendations.