The “laissez-passer” (LP) is a secure e-travel document issued by the European Union (EU) for its representatives and staff members with an international outreach as well as their family members under certain conditions. Translated, “Laissez-passer” means “let pass” in English. It is recognised as a valid travel document by Member States. It can also be recognised by third countries, through the necessary agreements, for border crossing and within their territory.

The 2022 laissez-passer datapage bears upgraded security features

Prior to the 2022 version, the LP was last upgraded in 2015 to achieve enhanced international and European security standards. The EU laissez-passer integrates the same security standards and technical specifications applicable to EU national passports. It is not only machine readable on the MRZ of the data page, but also carries a contactless chip, which bears the photo and 2 fingerprints of the holder as biometric features. It contributes to ensuring a proper level of protection against forgery, counterfeiting and falsification.

2022 LP celebrates connectivity, the Universe, and EU space programmes

After 6 years in circulation, an identity document shall be newly designed to remain many steps ahead of counterfeiters. Therefore, during 2020 and 2021, a new EU laissez-passer layout was created with the overall themes: Connectivity and Universe/Space. Figures of the EU space programmes Copernicus and Galileo found their way into the pages of the LP booklet. The new design has been issued since mid-2022.

Themes of the Universe and EU space programmes are depicted these UV images.

The data page bears a number of security features, like hologram, OVI®, and the LP number not only being printed, but also perforated on the right-hand side. The 3-letter code EUE is a recurring feature represented in different technologies to stress the allocation of that code to the European Union Européenne.

The EUE code is a recurring feature throughout the new LP.

The LP is printed on high security paper with customised multi-tonal and electrotype watermark. Remarkable is the LP’s UV reaction: each page displays rainbow print in 3 UV colours, one of which is white in its reflection. The satellites orbit around the world in different locations throughout the booklet always in the correct position to each other and to the sun.

A true colour UV image of the world and Europe seen from the moon complements the UV design.

This infrared satellite image appears on the back cover of the LP

The satellite image on the back cover is printed in a mixture of infrared visible and invisible inks, which a view under IR light reveals.

European Union a member of ICAO since 2017

The European Union became member of ICAO PKD on 7 November 2017. Authorized members of the ICAO PKD will find in this directory the official certificates and master lists for the Country Signing Certificate Authority (CSCA) “EUE” (three-letter code for European Union).


European Union Commission: Laissez-passer

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Francis Deschrijvere holds a master’s degree in engineering (Telecommunications) from the University of Brussels (ULB). After a career in the private sector, he joined the European Commission in 2006, and since 2014 he’s been involved with the new form of the EU laissez-passer. He currently heads the sector in charge of seeking visas and issuing EU laissez-passer.

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Claudia Schwendimann has been working in the security document business for over 20 years. She is the Executive Director of Österreichische Staatsdruckerei GmbH and is Contract Manager for the EU laissez-passer and number of other eLP and ePassport projects.

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