Statewatch article: RefNo# 28206
EU: All children in the EU over six years old to be fingerprinted for EU passports and ID cards
Statewatch News Online, November 2007
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"


Background:

- 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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