An Ontological Representation of EU Consular Law

AutoreErich Schweighofer
CaricaProfessor at the University of Vienna, Department for European, International and Comparative Law, Centre for Legal Informatics
An Ontological Representation of EU Consular Law
SUMM ARY:1. Challenges of EU Consular Law – 2. Legal Information System CON-
SUL – 3. Ontology of EU Consular Law – 4. Dynamic Electronic LegalComment ary
(DynELCom) CONSUL – 5. Establishing the Ontologies and First Experiments – 6.
Conclusions and Further Work
Article 23 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union
(TFEU) gives every citizen of the Union the right to consular and diplo-
matic protection if his or her Member State is not represented in a specif‌ic
third country. Whichever mission (of another EU member state) the EU
citizen ends up asking for support, the mission has to provide support on
the same conditions as for their own nationals.
Article 46 of the Charta on Human Rights lays down the same right. The
Green Paper "Diplomatic and consular protection of Union citizens in third
countries", presented by the Commission in 2006, focuses on strengthening
this right: In it, the European Commission points out that European citi-
zens are not fully aware of thisr ight, and thatthe legal consequences of it are
far from being fully implemented by the Member States. After the consulta-
tion phase of the Green Paper,the Action Plan 2007-2009 "Effective consular
protection in third countries: the contribution of the European Union" was
adopted. One important measure is the examination of Member States’ legis-
lations and practices on consular protection and the assessment of the extent
and nature of the observed discrepancies between Member States.
The CARE - Citizens Consular Assistance Regulation in Europe project
( at offering tools to the Commission which
support the European Commission in performing this examination. The
CARE database collects relevant legal materials on diplomatic and consular
protection adopted in each EU Member State. Various types of documents
are collected: legislation, case law, administrative directives and guidelines,
and also other informative materials made availableby national governments
The Author is Professor at the University of Vienna, Department for European, Inter-
national and Comparative Law,Centre for Legal Informatics. The CARE Project is funded
by the European Commission, Grant No. JLS/2007/FRC-1/50-30-CE-0226854/00-31.

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