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Parliamentary questions
PDF 41kWORD 18k
1 February 2019
Question for written answer E-000616-19
to the Commission
Rule 130
Danuta Jazłowiecka (PPE)

 Subject:  Plastic EHIC
 Answer in writing 

Companies sending workers abroad are required to apply to the national authority for a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) to be issued. An EHIC issued for tourism purposes is valid for between several months and several years, whereas cards connected with working abroad are valid only for the period for which the A1 certificate is issued. This issue is particularly problematic in the case of frequent short-term postings.

Every worker who is posted abroad for even two weeks receives a new plastic EHIC every time. These cards contain information which could easily be included on a paper document. Instead, a plastic card is used, only to be very soon discarded. Issuing plastic cards makes no sense either economically or environmentally, and runs counter to the EU strategy to eliminate single-use plastic items.

1. Has the Commission looked into this issue? Are these cards issued in plastic form in all Member States?

2. Would it not be better to issue reusable magnetic cards on which information could be loaded every time the worker travels?

3. Does the issuing of single-use plastic cards not run counter to the EU’s strategy on minimising plastic waste?

Original language of question: PL 
Last updated: 14 February 2019Legal notice