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-passer, and other agencies may issue the document as well.[1]

History[edit]

Provisions for issuing laissez-passer 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 at 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 24.

Appearance[edit]

The document contains 48 pages and is available in 24 languages.[3] The fields normally present in passports are present in the laissez-passer and it also contains biometric identifiers.

Current situation[edit]

The present 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 no longer contain information on address and physical appearance.

Laissez-passer note[edit]

Similar to most passports, the laissez-passer contained 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 "Communication from the Commission to the Council - Draft Council Regulation laying down the form of the laissez-passer issued to members and servants of the institutions". eur-lex.europa.eu. 21 December 2007. Retrieved 18 November 2015. 
  2. ^ "Regulation (ECSC, EEC, Euratom) No 1826/69 of the Council of 15 September 1969 laying down the form of the 'laissez passer' to be issued to members and servants of the institutions (repealed on 24.11.2015)". Eur-lex.europa.eu. 15 September 1969. Retrieved 24 April 2011. 
  3. ^ "Council Regulation (EU) No 1417/2013 of 17 December 2013 laying down the form of the laissez-passer issued by the European Union". eur-lex.europa.eu. Retrieved 18 November 2015. 

See also[edit]

Relevant EU legislation[edit]