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January 24, 2022

EUR 32 M project for electronic IDs

By July next year, all Romanians should have electronic ID cards, under a project of the Ministry of Administration and Interior, ‘Jurnalul National’ newspaper reports in its yesterday’s issue. According to the project, each Romanian should be fingerprinted, listed into a data base and should receive his own chip by the middle of 2011. The initiative will cost EUR 32 M and it already came under fire by NGOs.

The formal reason for this project is the accession to the Schengen zone, as the European Union – especially Schengen states – want a higher security degree in our country. This is why the Ministry of Interior came with the solution of electronic ID cards.

The contract has not been awarded yet and the ordinance that regulates the new electronic IDs is still on public debate. NGOs claim the draft act features provisions that infringe the right to privacy, but MAI has two arguments: Europe and mainly the Schengen zone – would prefer us like this, and the new cards have a higher degree of security. “The enforcement of electronic ID cards makes the object of similar approaches initiated or planned by European Union member states, which favour the idea of documents that will have a higher degree of security, while using the potential of electronic services,” reads the answer sent by the MAI press office to ‘Jurnalul National.’ The European Commission however cannot impose an EU state how it should manage the ID documents of its citizens. Upon request by ‘Jurnalul National,’ the press office of the European Commissioner for Home Affairs, Cecilia Malmstrom answered that the EC has no competence regarding the security specifications of the identity cards issued by member states to their own citizens. According to the formal answer, the only applicable instruments – the conclusions of the 2005 European Council and the resolution adopted in November 2006 – do not have a compulsory character.

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