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The European citizen is born – but hush, don’t tell !

500 million Europeans will soon have ID cards with the same size, same color, same pattern and same European flag. Let’s call a spade a spade – the European ID card is born.

It was a security issue to begin with. With just 28 countries the EU has 250 types of ID cards available at the moment. Some of them were issued ages ago and are still valid; local governments sometimes have the right to issue IDs.

The terror risk in the EU has motivated politicians to work together for a more secure system. Until now it was way too easy to make a fake ID especially falsifying low-tech ones.

The European Parliament has decided to generalize biometric and finger prints signs in IDs, and member states should swiftly move to a more secure ID cards.  The format of all EU citizen ID cards, as its colors, will be the same.

Now that the rules have been adopted, member states have two years to put it in place; and all European citizen should have their new IDs by 2029.

But the EP, on the 4th of April, also decided to add EU signs on future ID cards : “European citizen” will be written on every ID, and the European blue flag with golden stars will appear.

The European citizen is finally born, and it should be a great news for the 500 millions people concerned, especially in the middle of the European elections campaign.

But nationalists and populists are so strong that even the more federalist Europeans played it low.

“The regulation does not create a European ID card : only member states will keep the right to deliver IDs” stated Nathalie Griesbeck, a French MEPs from the ALDE group and member of the LIBE commission that worked on the new rules.

Even the rapporteur of the text, Gérard Desprez, downplayed the importance of his success.

“It’s out of question to replace national ID cards by a European ID card” he said.

So the cards will have the same size, the same colors, the same flag, the same fingerprints and the same pictures. But hush don’t tell it’s a European ID, because it could be badly interpreted by nationalists…


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