EU: General Affairs Council adopts Regulation on mandatory facial images and fingerprints in EU passports

Biometric passports: General Affairs Council adopted Regulation on mandatory facial images and fingerprints in EU passports at its meeting in Brussels on 13 December 2004: Full-text (pdf) After the Regulation is published in the Official Journal an "Article 6" Committee will be set up by the European Commission with representatives from 22 members states (excluding Ireland, the UK and Denmark). This committee will decide on the "details" such as how many fingerprints are to be taken, the equipment needed and the costs. After it has finished its work new (and replacement) passports issued will have to contain a "facial image" within 18 months, and fingerprints within three years.

The UK government put on record its anger at being excluded from taking part in the adoption of the Regulation. Under the Protocol the UK can ask to "opt-in" but on this occasion the Schengen states stood firm as the UK has not signed up to border controls aspects of the acquis: See: "Unilateral United Kingdom Statement": 15918/04 ADD 1 (pdf)

See for background:

European Parliament urged to reject biometric registration of all EU citizens and residents

EU governments blackmail European Parliament into quick adoption of its report on biometric passports

EU biometric passports and mandatory fingerprinting: Statewatch analysis questions legality of Regulation

Green/EFA press release

Search in Statewatch database for "biometric"
Search in Statewatch database "Features Library" for in-depth articles on biometrics


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