Consular Protection: Commission adopts decision to unify EU rules on the Emergency Travel Document

On December 12, 2022, the European Commission has notified Member States about the newly adopted technical details of the EU Emergency Travel Document, including its design and security features.

The Commission’s decision is the last step in the path for a clear and legally binding procedure for EU citizens to receive the document under the same, clear conditions, based on the Directive adopted in 2019. Since 1996, EU citizens who have their passports stolen or lose them while travelling abroad can obtain emergency travel documents from embassies or consulates of EU Member States other than their own. However, the old format did not meet modern security standards and as a result, some Member States stopped using it.

This new document – a single-journey document valid for 15 days – will be issued by Member States’ embassies and consulates to unrepresented EU citizens who lose their passport when travelling outside the EU.

Commissioner for Justice, Didier Reynders, said: The EU Emergency Travel Document will offer EU citizens a secure and reliable way of returning home should they lose their passport while travelling abroad. As the repatriations during the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic have shown, enjoying the full right to consular protection is an important aspect of what it means to be an EU citizen.”

Member States will also be able to issue the new EU Emergency Travel Document to their own citizens, reducing production costs and raising awareness of the document. Member States now have two years to transpose the Directive into national law, and they will start issuing the documents as of the end of 2025.

More information on Consular Protection outside the EU can be found here.

www.ec.europa.eu