The European Commission welcomes the final approval by Ministers from the Member States for the Commission’s proposal to create a modern EU Emergency Travel Document.

Since 1996, EU citizens who have their passports stolen or lose them while travelling abroad can obtain emergency travel documents from embassies or consulates of EU Member States other than their own.

Lost or stolen passports make up more than 60% of the cases of consular assistance provided to EU citizens. However, the old format did not meet modern security standards such as up-to-date printing techniques or protection against copying by means of security holograms. As a result, some Member States stopped using them.

“Losing your passport or having it stolen while travelling abroad is a distressing experience. The new rules adopted today will make sure that EU citizens can quickly receive a secure and widely accepted EU Emergency Travel Document from any Member State, allowing them to return home safely. This is a practical example of the benefits of EU citizenship and solidarity,” said Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality, Věra Jourová.

The new EU Emergency Travel Document will be based on the format and security features of the Schengen visa sticker. Its user-friendly format will include a space for any necessary transit visa and they should be issued within seven working days (with some exceptions). Member States have to transpose the new rules into their national laws within two years after the Commission has adopted the remaining technical rules on the design and security requirements.