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    European Parliament committee approves new ID cards

    The European Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties approved new safety norms for identity cards on Monday night. These include using the colour blue for all ID cards and adding the European flag to these identification documents.

    “In addition to their national identity, citizens have what could be called a ‘European citizenship’ that gives them protection and rights,” rapporteur Gérard Deprez (Belgium, Reformist Party) explained. “That is why I proposed in my report to make all ID cards blue and to include the EU flag on cards.”

    The proposed security norms are aimed particularly at fighting against document fraud.

    There are many different types of ID cards and residence permits in the European Union (EU) and security regulations differ from country to country. This increases the risk of identity fraud, which affects hundreds of thousands of Europeans, costing each of them 250 euros on average, according to an impact study.

    The committee’s proposals further include equipping ID cards with a microchip with a photo ID. Member States can also choose to add two fingerprints.

    Each country would have eight years to comply with the European norms while the least security-compliant cards, those that are not machine readable, will have to be scrapped within five years.

    Should the entire European Parliament give the green light, negotiations can then be started with the member States. Twenty-six of the 28 member States issue identity cards. In 15 of them, such cards are compulsory.

    Jason Bennett
    The Brussels Times