Finally, the long-awaited holidays have arrived. Time for relaxing under palm trees and sipping cocktails. But what if your dream holiday turns into a nightmare? What if you find yourself in serious trouble in an other country?
According to one survey , half of all Europeans hope to travel outside the EU in the coming three years. What few Europeans know is that they can turn to the embassies or consulates of other EU members in an emergency.
Whether involved in a serious accident or victim of a violent crime, as an EU citizen you can ask for diplomatic and consular protection from any of the 27 EU countries. If your own country is not represented (embassy, general consulate, consulate or honorary consul) you are entitled to assistance from any of the other EU-27 permanent representations when you provide proof of nationality. Help can be given to you in the event of an arrest, detention, death or repatriation. In a real emergency, financial assistance can also be granted.
It is important to understand that you should turn to embassies or consulates and not to EU delegations, since these cannot deal with diplomatic or consular protection: this is under the jurisdiction of the member countries themselves.
For free advice on your rights and where to go for help, telephone the EUROPE DIRECT service on 00800 6 7 8 9 10 11 from anywhere in the EU.
Consulates and embassies of EU countries