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The European Union Member States supported by the EU Delegations in Nepal and India held a semi-live consular crisis exercise named "NEPALAYA 19" on 10 April. The exercise was conducted during the Romanian presidency of the Council of the European Union together with the upcoming presidency of Finland, with the support of European External Action Service (EEAS).
This exercise simulated a series of natural and man-made disasters in Nepal affecting a large number of European citizens. The goal was to review the consular crisis preparedness and response capabilities amongst EU Member States along with Norway and Switzerland. Australia, Canada, Israel and the United States of America participated as observers.
The EU Treaties guarantee all EU citizens the right to equal treatment regarding protection from the diplomatic and consular authorities of any Member State when they are travelling or living outside the EU and their own country is not represented.
This exercise was also designed to test the support of the EU Delegations in Nepal and in India in facilitating coordination among Member States and other actors in a developing crisis situation.
Overall, almost 200 people participated in the exercise. The strong participation of EU Member States from their capitals, their Missions and of their Honorary Consuls in Nepal demonstrates the recognition amongst all stakeholders of the importance of effective coordination and enhanced synergies in responding to large disasters affecting citizens of EU Member States.
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