EU council and parliament reach agreement on biometric ID cards
04 March 2019 14:44 GMT

The EU Council and Parliament have reaching provisional agreements on new rules for the introduction of mandatory biometric national identity cards, reports Statewatch.

The information system reports that the EU is upgrading the Visa Information System (VIS) - which is currently used to hold information on all applicants for short-stay Schengen visas - to now include information on long-stay visas and residence documents; to enforce mandatory biometrics in long-stay visas (currently a national competence); and to include the fingerprints of children from the age of six and up. All visa applicants will also be profiled.

"The EU is introducing tighter security for ID cards in order to reduce identity fraud. Today, representatives of the Romanian Presidency of the Council and the European Parliament reached an informal agreement on a regulation which will strengthen the security of identity cards of EU citizens and of residence documents issued to EU citizens and their non-EU family members. The informal agreement will now be presented to EU ambassadors for confirmation on behalf of the Council".

Under the proposed new rules, identity cards will have to be produced in a uniform, credit card format (ID-1), include a machine-readable zone, and follow the minimum security standards set out by ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organisation). They will also need to include a photo and two fingerprints of the cardholder, stored in a digital format, on a contactless chip. ID cards will indicate the country code of the member state issuing them, inside an EU flag.

Identity cards will have a minimum period of validity of 5 years and a maximum period of validity of 10 years. Member states may issue ID cards with a longer validity for persons aged 70 and above. If issued, ID cards for minors may have a period of validity of less than 5 years."

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