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Economic and Social Policies, PUBLICATIONS, Structural and Cohesion Policies

Security of ID cards and of residence documents issued to EU citizens and their families

Written by Katharina Eisele with Anne van Heijst,

it gives a young man ID - carte d'identit nationale

© Mike Fouque / Fotolia

This briefing provides an initial analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the European Commission’s impact assessment (IA) accompanying the above-mentioned proposal, submitted on 17 April 2018 and referred to the European Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE).

Currently, there are at least 86 different versions of identity cards (ID cards) and 181 types of residence documents in circulation in the EU. The Free Movement Directive (2004/38/EC) stipulates the conditions that EU citizens and their third-country-national family members need to meet in order to exercise their right of free movement and residence within the Union. However, it does not regulate the format and minimum standards for the ID cards and residence documents to be used for entering or leaving an EU Member State (IA, pp. 9-10). This proposal aims to strengthen the security features of ID cards and residence documents of EU citizens and their non-EU family members. Passports and travel document issued by Member States are already regulated by EU law.

Directive 2004/38/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 29 April 2004 on the right of citizens of the Union and their family members to move and reside freely within the territory of the Member States amending Regulation (EEC) No 1612/68 and repealing Directives 64/221/EEC, 68/360/EEC, 72/194/EEC, 73/148/EEC, 75/34/EEC, 75/35/EEC, 90/364/EEC, 90/365/EEC and 93/96/EEC.

See also the European Commission’s inception impact assessment of 6 September 2017.


Read the complete briefing on ‘Security of ID cards and of residence documents issued to EU citizens and their families‘ on the Think Tank pages of the European Parliament.

About IMPA

The European parliament's Ex-Ante Impact Assessment team analyses the quality of impact assessments (IAs) produced by the European Commission, in the form of initial appraisals, and offers parliamentary committees a range of follow-up services, including more detailed appraisals of Commission IAs, substitute or complementary IAs, and IAs on parliamentary amendments.

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