The Act on Amendments to the Consular Act and the Identity Documents Act, that was passed at today’s sitting of the Riigikogu, transposes the directive of the Council of the European Union that facilitates consular protection for unrepresented citizens of the European Union in third countries. The directive specifies when and how EU citizens in an emergency situation in a country outside the EU are entitled to receive assistance from the embassies and consulates of other EU Member States.
In the future, unrepresented citizens of EU Member States will receive consular assistance from foreign missions of Estonia on the same conditions as Estonian nationals. The Act defines who is an unrepresented citizen. It also provides that an unrepresented citizen in an emergency can submit a request for consular assistance to a foreign mission of Estonia directly without a request of the Member State of his or her nationality.
It also provides for a financial mechanism for reimbursement of financial obligations to other EU Member States in the event of consular assistance cases involving Estonian nationals. In the case when an EU Member State provides unsecured financial assistance to an Estonian national staying in a third country who is in an emergency, the person in emergency will have to repay the unsecured financial assistance to the Estonian state within 90 days as of the date of receipt of a claim for repayment.
In addition to the requirements arising from the directive, the Consular Act is amended by introducing two new consular services. Consular officers will provide these services in foreign missions in the cases when the validity of the certificates of an identity document, a residence permit card or a digital identity card of a person needs to be restored, or new PIN-codes need to be issued to a person.
Since acts relating to certificates enabling digital identification and digital signature that are performed under the Identity Documents Act are established according to the Act, the Identity Documents Act is also amended.
The deadline for the transposition of the directive is 1 May.
73 members of the Riigikogu voted in favour of the Act on Amendments to the Consular Act and the Identity Documents Act (584 SE), initiated by the Government.
Verbatim record of the sitting (in Estonian) http://stenogrammid.riigikogu.ee/en/201804121000.
Video recordings of the sittings of the Riigikogu can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/riigikogu (NB! The recording will be uploaded with a delay.)
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