I'm a Polish citizen travelling to Timor-Leste. There's no Polish diplomatic mission there.

There's an embassy of Portugal in Dili, and I understand that according to EU rules they're supposed to help any EU citizen in case of an emergency.

However on the website of the Embassy of the Republic of Poland in Jakarta, Indonesia it says

Countries in the territorial competence of the Embassy

Republic of Indonesia, Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste

Which consulate should I contact in case of any issues? Is there any rule or can I just assume that either would help me?

  • 2
    It depends in the "emergency". I think it is safe that if you can, you should contact the Polish embassy, e.g. email or probably better: phone. Possibly for documents (lost passport, etc.) they will organize something, probably using a EU embassy or consular office in Timor-Leste. But: in case of emergency, the first point of contact it polish consular office, not random forum on internet. Apr 19 at 9:07
  • 5
    Note that embassies and consulates are distinct. Roughly speaking, embassies are government to government, while consulates are government to person. But most embassies have consulate functions attached, and public usage of terms is loose, so there's lots of room for confusion, even officially. -- I bring this up just to say that "territorial competence of the Embassy" may simply mean that when the Polish government wants to talk to the Timor-Leste government, it's the ambassador in Jakarta which does it. It may or may not imply anything about who individuals should interact with.
    – R.M.
    Apr 19 at 12:38

3 Answers 3


Directive 2015/637 doesn't set any rules regarding who you should contact and doesn't constrain Poland's ability to assist you in any way. What it does is create an obligation for Portugal not to turn you away in case you are facing one of the specific emergencies listed in article 9 and you decide to request their assistance. Presumably, the Polish consulate in Jakarta would also help you if you are able to contact them but that's not a matter for EU law.

If you do request assistance from the Portuguese embassy, they should contact the Polish ministry of foreign affairs as soon as possible and coordinate with them. If Poland prefers to take over (e.g. send someone over from Jakarta), they can do so and Portugal would relinquish the case (article 3). In the meantime, they are required to help you as an “unrepresented EU citizen” as defined in article 6.

Another thing that explains the apparent discrepancy is that Directive 2015/637 only covers specific emergencies (being arrested, being the victim of a crime, serious accident, etc.) The Polish consulate in Jakarta would be responsible for everything else (e.g. renewing your passport).

In general, it makes more sense to contact the Polish consulate directly whenever possible. EU consular assistance is designed to help specifically in situations where that might be difficult, including evacuation in case of crisis.


"Countries in the territorial competence" means the countries in which the consular services are provided. I.e.: this diplomatic post provides services in these countries.

So if you're a Polish citizen in one of these countries, this diplomatic post covers you. You should reach out to that consulate.

This is pretty routine, many smaller countries don't have local diplomatic missions in many of the similarly smaller countries they have relationships with. Instead a mission in one of the nearby larger countries has representatives who'd travel to the smaller country when needed to provide services.

It is also true that other EU representatives may be able to help you in emergency situations (very specific cases, listed in the other answer).


According to gov.pl, there is a Polish Consulate General in Dili (capital of East Timor). It's address is "Rua S. Jose, Delta 1 Comoro Dili Timor-Leste" (according to embassies.net and Google Maps).

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