Commission proposes to make access to emergency travel documents faster and more secure for EU citizens

Écrit par © Filactu le . Rubrique: Europe

Lost or stolen passports make up more than 60% of the cases of consular assistance. The current emergency travel documents do not meet modern security standards and offer little protection against fraud and counterfeit. The European Commission is proposing 31 May 2018 to update the rules on EU emergency travel documents and improve their security features.

Since 1996, EU rules exist that allow EU citizens, whose passport or travel documents were stolen or lost while travelling abroad to obtain temporary travel documents. But some third countries are reluctant to accept them and some Member States have stopped using them for their own citizens.

Věra Jourová, Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality said: "Losing your passport or getting it stolen is a distressing experience, especially if you are travelling outside of the EU. When this happens, EU citizens are entitled to getting temporary emergency documents. However, their current format does not live up to our current security standards. The new security features we proposed for emergency travel documents will prevent criminals from counterfeiting them or using them to carry out criminal activities.”  

With the new rules in place, the new EU emergency travel documents will be more secure, as they will have machine-readable features. Their user-friendly format will include a space for any necessary transit visa and they should be issued within 3 to 4 days. In addition, the new Directive will improve the consular assistance available to all EU citizens, even where their country doesn't have an embassy or a consulate. It will now be mandatory for embassies or consulates to issue EU emergency travel documents to unrepresented EU citizens. <

The full proposal is available online.