EU: All children in the EU over six years old to be fingerprinted for EU passports and ID cards

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The European Commission is proposing that all children over 6 are fingerprinted for EU passports (and nationally-issued ID cards) - the only reason that those less than six years old are not to be fingerprinted is a technical one: "the fingerprints of children under the age of 6 seemed not to be of sufficient quality for one-to-one verification of identity" The term "and travel documents" mainly refers to the use of nationally issued ID cards which are used to travel in the EU Schengen area - in December 2006 the Council of the European Union adopted a Resolution saying that the same standards had to be used for ID cards as for EU passports (ie: the taking of biometrics, fingerprints).

The new Regulation is proposed under Article 62(2)(a) of the Treaty establishing the European Community (TEC) which gives the European Parliament the power of co-decision with the Council of the European Union.

Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and the Council, amending Council Regulation (EC) No 2252/2004 on standards for security features and biometrics in passports and travel documents issued by Member States (presented by the Commission) (pdf)

Tony Bunyan, Statewatch editor, comments:

"The taking of finger-prints from all children from the age of six upwards is highly questionable and is a moral and political question, not a technical one.

The European Parliament has the power of co-decision on this measure - it is to be hoped that it will reject it and do so in a way that is open and transparent for all to see"


- The initial discussion on fingerprinting children took place in the context of issuing biometric visas to visitors: Fingerprinting of children (link)

- EU governments blackmail European Parliament into quick adoption of its report on biometric passports (link)

- EU: Biometrics - from visas to passports to ID cards (link)

- Secret trilogues and the democratic deficit (pdf). Under a new agreement between the Council and the European Parliament the efficiency of decision-making is enhanced at the expense of transparency, openness and accountability. This is particularly the case on border controls, asylum and immigration measures.

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