European Union Laissez-Passer

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A European Union Laissez-Passer is a travel document issued to civil servants and members of the Institutions of the European Union. It is proof of privileges and immunities the holders enjoy. The document is valid in all countries of the European Union as well as in over 100 other countries. In 2006, the Commission of the European Communities issued or renewed 2,200 laissez-passers, and other agencies may issue the document as well.[1]

History[edit]

Provisions for issuing Laissez-passers were already present in the treaties establishing of the European Coal and Steel Community, the European Atomic Energy Community and the European Economic Community and a single European Community Laissez-Passer was established in the beginning of the 1970s.[2] As a result of the Maastricht treaty, the name was changed to European Union Laissez-Passer. The initial Laissez-passer was available in all 4 languages of the communities (French, German, Dutch and Italian), but not in English. Subsequent extensions changed the number of languages to the present 11.

Appearance[edit]

The document contains 22 pages and is available in 11 languages (the official languages prior to extensions of the union after 1995).[3] Since only textual changes have occurred since its implementation, the appearance and safety level is still at the level of the 1950s. The fields normally present in passports are present in the laissez-passers, including rather detailed info on physical appearance.

  • Name and forenames
  • Date of birth
  • in [designating: Place of birth]
  • Nationality
  • Position held
  • Address
  • Eyes
  • Hair
  • Height
  • Special peculiarities
  • Usual signature of bearer

Future[edit]

In 2005, a draft regulation was proposed by the European Commission implementing machine-readable laissez-passer according to ICAO 9303 standard including a digitized photo of the bearer's face and fingerprints.[1] The fields are reduced and will no longer contain info on address and physical appearance. In line with the practice of United Nations Laissez-Passer, no nationality will be present at as well. For practical reasons, instead of placing all info on the relevant pages in all languages, now the proposed new Laissez-passer contains 3 lead languages (French, English, German), and translation in other languages is present further in the document.

Laissez-passer note[edit]

Similar to most passports, the Laissez-Passer contains a text by the President of the Council of the European Union:

THE PRESIDENT requests all authorities of Member States of the European Union to allow the bearer to pass freely and to afford the bearer such assistance and protection as may be necessary.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "EUR-Lex – 52007DC0849 – EN". Eur-lex.europa.eu. Retrieved 24 April 2011. 
  2. ^ "EUR-Lex – 31969R1826 – EN". Eur-lex.europa.eu. Retrieved 24 April 2011. 
  3. ^ "EUR-Lex – 31995R0838 – EN". Eur-lex.europa.eu. Retrieved 24 April 2011. 

See also[edit]