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Multilevel Citizenship

The Right to Consular Protection of EU Citizens Abroad

Eva-Maria Poptcheva

This book is the first monograph on one of the least studied and most controversial European Union citizenship rights. Despite the importance of consular protection in a globalised world, many EU Member States are reluctant to recognise consular protection for EU citizens abroad as a right, leading to a protracted struggle to place the right to consular protection on a solid legal basis through a directive.
This book examines the right to consular protection as an illustrative case in the debate over a multilevel design of EU citizenship combining rules from several different legal systems, whose interplay is reinforced by the extra-territorial character of consular protection.
It offers a comparative analysis of the provision of consular protection in the 28 EU Member States as well as of the respective international law and EU rules. By examining the right to consular protection in its constitutional setting as a right flowing from EU citizenship, the book frames the analysis of all EU citizenship rights as fundamental rights in a multilevel-governance context.
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Chapter II: Conceptualising ‘Consular Protection’



Conceptualising ‘Consular Protection’

1.  Framing the Issue

In order to define the legal scope of the provision of consular protection within the framework of the European Union and to examine its consequences for any further legislative action of the European Union and of the EU Member States, the conceptual differences in the field of consular protection need to be identified and analysed. The historical link between diplomatic and consular protection, the concurrence or partial overlapping of legal provisions belonging to different legal orders as well as the different types of protection provided to citizens abroad reflecting the wide range of consular functions, contribute to the complexity of the normative and practical context, in which the EU provisions on consular protection are embedded. This legal and factual complexity makes it necessary to frame the provision of consular protection to unrepresented Union citizens in third countries, taking into account the historical and social context of the legal provisions at their respective level of application (international, European Union and national), the addressees of the measures operating under the different concepts in the field concerned as well as the underlying values and objectives pursued by each of the concepts in question. In this way, consular protection will be conceptualised observing the international obligations of the Member States, the autonomy of the EU legal order as well as the citizens’ legitimate interest to be able to effectively enjoy their rights.

2.  Multilevel Context of Consular...

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