On May 15-16, 2019, in the context of the Romanian office as Council Presidency, the informal meeting of Directors General for Consular Affairs of the EU Member States was held in Bucharest.
The debates of the Bucharest meeting, which was hosted by the National Bank of Romania, opened with the speeches delivered by Secretary General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Laura Elena Chiorean and by the director general of the Consular Department. Both officials emphasised the usefulness of consular cooperation, especially in high risk regions.
The debates focused mainly on the management of consular crisis situations and on cooperation among member States in order to provide consular assistance to EU citizens in third countries, namely the burden-sharing mechanisms designed to facilitate the citizens’ access to consular assistance and protection, including in those regions where their countries are not represented at diplomatic and consular levels, as well as on the opportunities for mutual support with countries that share similar visions, especially in hard-to-access geographic areas. The debated topics are in fact permanent items on the agenda of the Working Party on Consular Affairs (COCON) of the Council of the European Union.
The discussions also focused on making the working tools and platforms more homogeneous, in order to further consular cooperation among Member States in the management of consular crises.
The event was attended by Member State delegations, by representatives of the European Commission, of the European External Action Service as well as by official representatives of the US and Canada.