In the last 6 years, around 40,000 IDs have been uncovered as fraudulent and thousands of children have disappeared. These numbers could significantly drop thanks to EU common standards for ID cards and residency permits the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs will vote on today.
Carlos Coelho MEP, EPP Group Spokesman on the new EU rules, said: “The EPP Group has fought for more security for identity cards. There are more than 80 types of ID cards in Europe and more than 180 residency permit types. These documents are the most commonly falsified, both at our borders and inside our territory. 13 out of 25 EU countries do not include any biometric data of their holders. That means that stolen IDs issued in almost half of the EU Member States can be easily used by terrorists or criminals to enter the EU. By harmonising security standards, namely through chips and the inclusion of facial imaging and fingerprints, we will greatly reduce the possibility of identity theft.”
Member States will have the possibility to issue IDs for children over 6 years old with biometric data on them. Carlos Coelho explained why: “In order to find missing children or prevent traffickers crossing borders with a missing child, we need to know their identity. For these security reasons, the EPP Group has made sure that biometrics can be collected from children as of 6 years old.”
The new rules also aim at ensuring that all Member States accept ID cards from other EU countries as a means of identification. “What we negotiated in the Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee will not only positively affect security in the EU but will also make people’s lives easier. With biometric IDs, European citizens enjoying their right of free movement will stop encountering problems proving their identity or accessing public services. We will make it mandatory for Member States to recognise these documents”, Coelho concluded.
The EPP Group is the largest political group in the European Parliament with 219 Members from 28 Member States