“Europe brings home over half a million stranded citizens. An unprecedented challenge!” says President Charles Michel

Just two months ago, on 17 March, the European Union set up a Consular Coordination Task Force to coordinate the repatriation of its citizens worldwide.

“Today, I want to congratulate the Task Force and its members for an extremely efficient and professional undertaking. Your clear vision of the mission to be accomplished, meticulous planning and tireless round-the-clock efforts under exceptional working circumstances enabled more than 580.000 EU citizens to safely return to their homes in Europe”, declares the President of the European Council.

“The challenge faced by the Task Force was an unprecedented one: to reach out to more than 625.000 EU citizens stranded around the world, and to bring them back home – under very difficult circumstances due to worldwide travel restrictions and the scarcity of air and land transport in the midst of the global public health crisis caused by COVID-19.

Let me express my gratitude to all involved in this unprecedented consular cooperation, accomplished thanks to the excellent interinstitutional work conducted by the EEAS, Commission services, the Presidency of the Council and all Member States, including embassies and consulates and the 143 EU Delegations worldwide.”