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Wednesday, 4 February 2009 - Strasbourg OJ edition

Consular protection of citizens of the European Union in third countries (debate)

  Gay Mitchell (PPE-DE). Mr President, when we become Members of Parliament, we are issued with a laissez-passer – as are a lot of other people who work for the institutions of the Union. I wonder whether the Presidency and the Council understand the worthlessness of this document in Member States.

I had an extremely difficult situation in the Netherlands, when travelling back on the business of this Parliament from Africa. I know of another Member – a British Member – who had difficulty in Dublin. We really need to bring home to our own Member States that this is a travel document of Parliament, the Commission and of the Union and should be fully respected. Those dealing with travel arrangements at airports and ports should be fully briefed as to the worthiness of this document.

I would ask you to take that up with each of the Member States and ensure that it is implemented, because that sort of protection should extend to officials and to Members of Parliament travelling on the business of Parliament.

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