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Parliamentary questions
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23 June 2016
Answer given by Mr Avramopoulos on behalf of the Commission
Question reference: P-002776/2016

The Commission takes the matter of forged and stolen passports very seriously.

As a follow up of the recently adopted Commission Communication on ‘Stronger and Smarter Information Systems for Borders and Security’(1), the Commission will present measures to enhance electronic document security and ID management and to strengthen the fight against document fraud.

The recognition of travel documents of third-country nationals is a competence of the Member States. The main role of the Commission is to publish on its website the list of travel documents which entitle the holder to cross the external borders and which may be endorsed with a visa, indicating the recognition or non-recognition position of the Member States.

As regards Syrian documents, Member States are collecting information about these documents in order to better detect forgeries.

Until now, only one Member State has notified the Commission of a non-recognition decision. Germany notified on 7 March 2016 that it does not recognise any Syrian travel documents issued since 1 January 2015 in the towns of Deir-al-Zour, Raqqa and Hasakah, which are occupied by the terrorist organisation ‘Islamic state’.

Member States are bound by Art 4 (2) of Decision No 1105/2011/EU(2) to notify their non-recognition decision of a selected travel document. Failure to notify this position shall deem the travel document concerned to be recognised until that Member State notifies a non-recognition position.

(1)COM(2016)0205 final
(2)Decision No 1105/2011/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25.10.2011 on the list of travel documents which entitle the holder to cross the external borders and which may be endorsed with a visa and on setting up a mechanism for establishing this list.

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