EUROPEAN UNION PASSPORT
This is Passport issued by European Economic Area member states (the European Union, plus Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway) or Switzerland that can be used by citizens to exercise the right of free movement within the European Economic Area and Switzerland without applying for a Visa. This EU Passport is limited to travel freely without a Visa just within the 28 European Union Member states.
With a valid passport, EU citizens are entitled to exercise the right of free movement (meaning they do not need a visa) in the European Economic Area (European Union, Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway) and Switzerland.
As an alternative to holding a passport, EU citizens can also use a valid national identity card to exercise their right of free movement within the EEA and Switzerland. Strictly speaking, it is not necessary for an EU citizen to possess a valid passport or national identity card to enter the EEA or Switzerland. In theory, if an EU citizen outside of both the EEA and Switzerland can prove his/her nationality by any other means (e.g. by presenting an expired passport or national identity card, or a citizenship certificate), he/she must be permitted to enter the EEA or Switzerland. An EU citizen who is unable to demonstrate his/her nationality satisfactorily must nonetheless be given ‘every reasonable opportunity’ to obtain the necessary documents or to have them delivered within a reasonable period of time.
COMMON DESIGN FEATURES
While considerable progress has been made in harmonising some features, the data page can be at the front or at the back of an EU passport booklet and there are still significant design differences throughout to indicate which member state is the issuer.
Only British and Irish passports are not obliged by EU law to contain fingerprint information in their chip. With the exception of passports issued by Denmark, Ireland and the United Kingdom, all EU citizens applying for a new ordinary passport or passport renewal by 28 August 2006 (for facial images) and 28 June 28 2009 (for fingerprints) should have been biometrically enrolled. This is a consequence of Regulation (EC) 2252/2004 in combination with two follow-up decisions by the European Commission.
- Paper size B7 (ISO/IEC 7810 ID-3, 88 mm × 125 mm)
- 32 pages (passports with more pages can be issued to frequent travellers)
- Colour of cover: burgundy red (with the exception of Croatia)
Information on the cover, in this order, in the language(s) of the issuing state:
- The words “EUROPEAN UNION” (before 1997: “EUROPEAN COMMUNITY”)
- Name of the issuing state (similar typeface as “EUROPEAN UNION”)
- Emblem of the state
- The word “PASSPORT”
- The Biometric Passport symbol
Information on the first page, in one or more of the languages of the European Union:
- The words “EUROPEAN UNION”
- Name of the issuing state (similar typeface to that of “European Union”)
- The word “PASSPORT”
- Serial number (may also be repeated on the other pages).
Information on the (possibly laminated) identification page, in the languages of the issuing state plus English and French, accompanied by numbers that refer to an index that lists the meaning of these fields in all official EU languages:
On the top of the identification page there is the code “P” for passport, the code (ISO 3166-1 alpha-3) for the issuing country, and the passport number. On the left side there is the photo. On other places there might optionally be a national identification number, the height and security features.
Like all biometric passports, the newer EU passports contain a Machine-readable zone, which contains the name, nationality and most other information from the identification page. It is designed in a way so that computers can fairly easily read the information, although it still human
readable, since it contains only letters (A–Z), digits and “<” as space character, but no bar graph or similar.
Names containing non-English letters are usually spelled in the correct way in the non-machine-readable zone of the passport, but are mapped according to the standards of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) in the machine-readable zone. For example, the German umlauts (ä, ö, ü) and the letter ß are mapped as AE / OE / UE and SS, so Müller becomes MUELLER, Groß becomes GROSS, and Gößmann becomes GOESSMANN.
- “Gorbachev” in English,
- “Gorbatschow” in German,
- “Gorbatchov” in French,
- “Gorbachov” in Spanish,
- “Gorbaczow” in Polish, and so on.