Migration and Home Affairs

Public Consultations

Wednesday, 8 November, 2017
Consultation on lowering the fingerprinting age for children in the visa procedure from 12 years to 6 years.


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Policy field(s)

Migration and Asylum, Borders and Security, Justice and Fundamental rights

Target group(s)

Contributions to this public consultation are sought from individuals, public authorities, including national data protection authorities and child protection authorities and the Ombudsperson for Children, the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS), the EU Agency of Fundamental Rights (FRA) as well as civil society and academic institutions.

Period of consultation

From 17/08/2017 to 09/11/2017

Objective of the consultation

This consultation is part of the preparations leading to a revision of the legal basis of the Visa Information System that the Commission is planning to put forward in 2018.

During 2015-2016 the Commission carried out a REFIT evaluation of the functioning of the Visa Information System (SWD (2016) 327, SWD (2016) 328 and COM(2016)655) (henceforth the VIS). The final Report of the evaluation, adopted in October 2016, identified a number of areas where improvement was necessary or could be envisaged.  The VIS will be further developed to respond to the new challenges in visa, border and migration policy.

This public consultation is part of a wider process of consultation of the stakeholders, feeding into a study on the necessity and proportionality of lowering the fingerprinting age for children in the visa procedure as a way to respond to concerns of children going missing, being victims of trafficking, child abduction, and irregular migration involving minors.

The study on the necessity and proportionality of lowering the fingerprinting age for children will, in particular:

  • Analyse and assess the needs that lowering the fingerprinting age for children in the VIS would address;
  • Analyse the proportionality of such a measure, including whether other, less intrusive measures to address the same issues are available;
  • Analyse and propose options for lowering the fingerprinting age, including non-EU and non-legislative action, and assess their impact.

More specifically, the study and this public consultation should help the Commission:

  • Assess in which way the lowering of the fingerprinting age for children could facilitate the fight against trafficking in children, help to address the phenomenon of children in migration going missing, child abduction through visa fraud or irregular migration involving children (minors) and thus contribute to the child protection aspects of the common policies on border checks, asylum and immigration.
  • Assess the legal, operational, practical and technical feasibility of taking fingerprints of children from the age of 6 years, taking into account VIS architecture.
  • Assess (and if possible quantify) the key benefits and costs on a high level of introducing this measure.
  • Identify the stakeholders involved and how they would interact, including the operational and practical implications for their workflows.
  • Assess whether the inclusion of child protection related provisions would entail extending the scope of consultation of the VIS to anti-trafficking or child protection authorities.
  • Assess child-friendly and child-sensitive considerations for collecting fingerprints and biometric data.

How to submit your consultation

You can contribute to this public consultation by filling out the online questionnaire. You may find it useful to refer to the background documents which are published alongside this consultation.

Replies may be submitted in any EU official language. Given possible delays in translating comments submitted in some languages, contributions in English, French, German and Italian are welcome, as they will help the Commission to process the survey more swiftly.

As part of the European Transparency Initiative, the Commission asks organisations (including NGOs, trade associations, enterprises etc.) who wish to participate in public consultations to provide the Commission and the public with information about whom and what they represent, their objectives, funding and structures, by registering in the Transparency Register and subscribing to its Code of Conduct.

Received contributions will be published on the Internet. It is important to read the specific privacy statement attached to this consultation for information on how your personal data and contribution will be dealt with.

Reference documents and other, related consultations

Contact details

  • European Commission
    Directorate-General Migration and Home Affairs
    Unit for Visa Policy and document security
  • E-mail:
  • Postal address:
    Rue du Luxembourg 46, B-1049 Brussels

View the contributions

In the interests of transparency, organisations have been invited to provide the public with relevant information about themselves by registering in the Transparency Register and subscribing to its Code of Conduct. If the organisation is not registered, the submission is published separately from the registered organisations.

A total of 26 contributions were received and they are available below. Please note that some personal data has been removed from these answers and some responses have been anonymised at the request of the respondent.

The blank version of the questionnaire could be added before the contributions received as "Blank consultation questionnaire for information" and then the Contributions, hence:

Results of consultation and next steps

The results of the public consultation will be taken into consideration for the preparation of the Commission legal proposal amending the Visa Information System (VIS) and the Community Code on visas (the Visa Code). Explanations about how the contributions have been taken into account will be provided.

Protection of your personal data

The objective of this consultation is to gather the views of stakeholders and others, possibly for publication on the internet. The questions do not reflect the European Commission’s official position and in no way prejudge any decisions it may take in the future on the legislation on visa, borders and migration. As this online service collects and further processes personal data, it is subject to Regulation (EC) No 45/2001 on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data by the Community institutions and bodies and on the free movement of such data.

Received contributions will be published on the Internet, unless you provide a substantial justification for your opposition to the publication of your contribution. It is important to read the specific privacy statement attached to this consultation for information on how your personal data and contribution will be dealt with.

The Commission stores personal data securely and does not share it with other parties. It will be entered in a list of contact details shared internally among Commission staff for the purpose of contacting you in the context of the Commission’s activities in the future. If you do not agree to this, please send an explicit objection to the Controller using the contact information included in the privacy statement.