Consultations of Heads of Consular Sections of Visegrad 4 Foreign Affairs Ministries

Consultations of Heads of Consular Sections of Visegrad 4 Foreign Affairs Ministries

5.6.2019 | Slovensko a V4

The visa agenda, preparations for the autumn Schengen evaluation of Slovakia and Hungary and how outsourcing works when collecting the data and applications for the Schengen visa – these were some of the topics treated during the consultations of the heads of the consular sections of the ministries of foreign affairs of Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland, which took place on June 4 at the MZVEZ SR, as part of the programme of activities in the context of Slovakia’s presidency of the Visegrad Group.

The heads of the consular sections exchanged their experiences from the last Schengen evaluation of the Czech Republic and Poland, which took place this past spring. They also discussed the mutual representation and assistance within the Visegrad Group in relation to granting the visas in the third states.  

The participants of the consultations informed each other about the national measures taken in connection with Brexit, particularly the no-agreement scenario, also in the context of closer cooperation when providing consular services to the Visegrad Group citizens in the territory of the United Kingdom. “We have also assessed the possibilities of closer coordination of the Visegrad 4 countries of activities related to consular protection of citizens who find themselves in an emergency situation in a territory where the respective Visegrad 4 country does not have its own representation and its citizens are thus forced to seek a representation of another EU member state,” said Martin Bezák, Head of the Consular Section of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic.

The Consular Consultations of the Visegrad Group countries clearly confirmed that the Visegrad 4 format makes sense and brings added value, also from the viewpoint of the further enhancement of professionalism, timeliness and empathetic dimension of consular services that are provided to clients, the general public, for whom the consuls are often the first (and quite often also the only one) contact point with the ministry of foreign affairs.