Citizens of the European Union in countries outside the EU will be able to approach the Bulgarian embassy or consulate for assistance if their own country does not have diplomatic representation there, Bulgaria’s government decided on April 11 2018.
They will have the same rights as Bulgarian citizens, according to a decree adopted at a regular meeting of the Cabinet.
Cases when consular protection may be given include arrest or detention, when the person is a victim of a crime, in the event of a serious accident or serious illness, a death, a need for emergency repatriation or for temporary travel documents, a government statement said.
In cases where EU citizens whose countries are not represented are given consular protection by Bulgaria in the form of financial assistance, they will be required to reimburse only those costs which, under the same conditions, should be borne by Bulgarian citizens, the statement said.
The costs of consular protection incurred by Bulgaria are thus refundable by the EU member state whose citizen has sought assistance from Bulgaria’s diplomatic or consular representation.
Similarly, Bulgarian citizens who have received consular protection from another EU country are obliged to reimburse the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bulgaria the equivalent of the costs incurred for consular protection in their capacity as unrepresented citizens of the EU, the statement said.
(Photo: Clive Leviev-Sawyer)