• 09 OCT 2011
Commission Press Release via StateWatch.org
Security features in travel documents: Belgium does not comply with the obligations to issue biometric passports
Brussels, 29 September 2011 – The European Commission today called on Belgium to take all measures necessary in order to comply with its obligation to issue biometric passports with fingerprints. The harmonisation of security features and the integration of biometric identifiers is an important step towards more secure travel documents and better protection of EU citizens from fraud. With the entry into force of Council Regulation (EC) 2252/2004
[PDF], Member States had until 28 August 2006 to ensure that all passports issued contain a chip with the holder's facial image and until 28 June 2009 to ensure that this chip also carries the holder's fingerprints. More than two years after the deadline set for including fingerprints, Belgian passports still do not meet this requirement.
Secure travel documents, which the EU citizens can rely on, are one of the building blocks of the Schengen area – the common European space of free and secure movement. It is crucial that all Member States issue compliant passports if we are to guarantee the same level of protection against fraudulent use throughout the EU.
Read entire press release [PDF]