European Union External Action

Consular Support & Repatriation - #WeTakeYouHome

HR/VP Josep Borrell, supported by the European External Action Service, the European Commission and Delegations to the EU around the world, was in the lead to coordinate the work with Member States and help EU travellers stranded in third countries to safely reach their homes. In an unprecedented repatriation effort, the EU has managed to bring home over half a million of its citizens who were affected by coronavirus travel restrictions across the world. Read our factsheet on consular support and repatriation & find out more about the different stories and experiences from EU citizens repatriated thanks to the EU and Member States.

 

The European Ombudsman Award for Good Administration 2021 honours the EU’s extraordinary efforts last year to help repatriate over a half million EU citizens stranded around the world due to the pandemic. The joint winning projects were undertaken by staff in the Commission’s department for Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid (DG ECHO) and the European External Action Service (EEAS).

High Representative/Vice President Josep Borrell, supported by the EEAS, the Commission and EU Delegations around the world, led the work to strengthen coordination among Member States to help EU citizens who were stranded outside the EU

Airport Gambia

EU Delegation in Banjul, The Gambia, successfully implemented another round of consular coordination and had its thirteenth repatriation flight left Banjul, this time for Stockholm.

11 Member States organised repatriation operations that were specially challenging due to the 7.000 islands of the Philippines archipelago

Two more repatriation flights departing from Banjul International Airport, organised by the Dutch and Spanish governments this time and both operated under the umbrella of the UCPM, brought home a total of 90 and 298 stranded European citizens and residents, respectively.

EU military and civilians together against COVID-19

From the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, the armed forces of EU Member States have played a critical role in fighting the virus – abroad, at home and in European solidarity. They are providing transport and logistic support, building field hospitals in record time, deploying their medical staff, and supporting national authorities and services. The European External Action Service set up a dedicated task force to support these efforts, in particular by facilitating the exchange of information.

The three EU Delegations worked in close cooperation with each other and with France to organize an Air France sweeper flight

The stranded travelers returned home aboard the national carriers of 14 EU Member States and partner countries in a coordinated operation led by the EU Delegation in New Delhi

More than 1.000 EU citizens, who were in Montenegro at the time of the coronavirus epidemic outbreak, have returned to their countries thanks to the committed cooperation of the Government of Montenegro and EU Member State embassies, coordinated by the EU Delegation to Montenegro. Since 17 March, more than 20 flights and trips by road were organised bringing EU citizens safely back home.

Stranded European Union citizens left Nairobi on Thursday in a special Ethiopian Airways flight to Frankfurt via Addis, organised by the EU Delegation to Kenya.

On 22 April, EULEX chartered a plane from Warsaw, Poland to Pristina, Kosovo to bring back 31 Polish police officers from EULEX’s Formed Police Unit. At the same time, EULEX facilitated the cost-free repatriation of twelve Kosovo citizens stranded in Poland and Czechia, following a request by the Kosovo Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Diaspora.

Two chartered flights organized under the EU Civil Protection Mechanism repatriate EU citizens from Barbados and other countries

The COVID-19 outbreak caused the Gambian authorities to close Gambian airspace, and this is when the EUD in Banjul started realising just how many stranded European citizens were in the country. Since, the EUD has been working all hours to help get as many as possible airlifted back to European destinations, and facilitate their onward travel to their homes anywhere in Europe.

A total of 670 Europeans stranded in Venezuela have safely returned to Europe in the last three weeks aboard two flights

Between 23 March and 3 April, a total of ten repatriation flights from Cuba have been organized under the EU Civil Protection Mechanism (UCPM). The repatriation flights have brought home over 1857 EU citizens and around 121 non-EU residents of more than 46 nationalities, including from 25 EU Member States.

The majority of these flights was supported by the European Union Civil Protection Mechanism (UCPM), an instrument designed to enhance the protection of EU citizens in crisis situations.

Concerted efforts by Embassies and Honorary Consuls in collaboration with EU Delegations in Trinidad and Tobago and Barbados, ensured that close to 500 stranded Europeans made it home safely.

covid-19, cabo verde

Nearly a million EU tourists annually visit the small islands of Cabo Verde. Many still came in March, and got "stranded".

covid-19, nepal

Around 6000 Europeans were in Nepal for the March trekking season. Soon after their arrival, the nation went into complete lockdown due to the Corona virus.

covid-19, uganda

Repatriation operations continue as Europeans are returned safely back home from Uganda.

Lithuania repatriated more than 400 EU citizens and several European countries helped Lithuanian citizens to return back home

On March 30th, a plane left Asunción to Frankfurt with approximately 340 european citizens who were stranded in Paraguay after commercial flights to Europe were cancelled and borders closed.

Ce samedi 4 avril, un vol Brussels Airlines spécialement affrété pour le trajet Abidjan-Conakry-Bruxelles a permis de rapatrier 81 ressortissants européens de passage en Côte d’Ivoire, avec à bord beaucoup de citoyens allemands et belges mais aussi des passagers de dix autres Etats de l’UE.

On Sunday evening 5 April, the EU Delegations to Sierra Leone and Liberia facilitated the successful repatriation to Brussels of nearly 250 citizens from the EU, but also from the Schengen area and from the UK.

Today, in a pandemic, all countries are taking steps to return their citizens who are in other countries. 300 Europeans, of which 70 French, returned home in good health after a 14-day quarantine in Uzbekistan.

More than 500 European citizens from more than 20 countries were able to return home, thanks to a joint effort led by Germany and France that included the collaboration of the Delegation of the European Union (EU) in Nicaragua and the coordination with the diplomatic and consular representations of Member States of the EU in the region.

The EU Delegation to Indonesia and the embassies of the EU Member states in Jakarta have been working together on responding to the very acute problem of the thousands of European tourists stranded in the country, especially in Bali.

Three repatriation flights left Buenos Aires to Vienna, Paris and Frankfurt bringing home 1,050 EU citizens.

07/04/20- Suva, Fiji - Nearly 300 Europeans, from the European Union, Norway, Switzerland and the United Kingdom are on their way home from Fiji, including 183 on a repatriation flight operated by Fiji Airways and chartered by Germany. Others were able to transit back to Europe on flights to Sydney and Los Angeles.

Due to the global crisis caused by Covid 19, many Europeans lost the opportunity to go back to the continent from Guatemala. In response 3 EU Member States (Germany, France, Spain) organized 5 repatriation flights for tourists from their own countries and other European nations

On the 3rd of April, the Dutch Embassy in Accra, Ghana and the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs took the lead to evacuate EU stranded tourists and non-residents from Ghana.

Since mid-March, the EU Delegation to Vietnam is liaising with the authorities and is actively supporting and coordinating the member states in the organization of repatriation flights. So far, the EU Civilian Protection Mechanism (UCPM) has facilitated five repatriation flights operated by Austria, Czechia, Germany and Lithuania, for more than 1,500 EU travellers.

Austria asked for financial support under the European Union's Civil Protection Mechanism to transport citizens from Buenos Aires to Vienna

The German Embassy in Bangkok, the Delegation of the European Union to Thailand and diplomatic missions of other EU Member States are working together to bring EU citizens stranded in Thailand back home

covid-19, philippines © NL emb twitter

More than 5,000 tourists were present in the country at the moment of the Coronavirus outbreak.

covid-19, seychelles

Following the establishment of travel restrictions, international airlines serving the route Europe - Seychelles suspended numerous flights. This has left many European citizens stranded.

Thousands of European tourists have managed to safely go back home from the Maldives and Sri Lanka, thanks to joint work of the European Union and its member states.