The Office of Greek EU Presidency used Zebra P520 printers to print ID badges to help secure high-profile meetings throughout the country. The cards had a unique bar code holding personal information on individual delegates. The barcode was read via Portable Data Terminals. The cards also incorporated a customized hologram for added security.
Greece Strengthened Security of EU Presidency with Zebra Card Printers
ID Program Central to Securing Official EU Presidency Meetings
In 2003, Greece held the Presidency of the European Union for the first half of the year. Greece was very aware that it played a crucial role during a period in international politics characterized by transition and insecurity. The message of the Greek EU Presidency was, “Our Europe: Sharing the Future in a Community of Values,” expressing a commitment toward a community that recognizes the citizen’s right to security, democracy and a better quality of life.
The Office of the Greek EU Presidency, operating under the auspices of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, was charged with organizing the logistics of the Presidency, including all administrative matters, ensuring that every activity was both secure and in compliance with European Community rules. Given the responsibility of organizing events of such extreme national and international importance, the Office of the Greek EU Presidency sought to guarantee the secure execution of the various meetings by using an innovative plastic card accreditation solution for delegates.
According to a representative from the Office of the Greek EU Presidency, Zebra card printers were ultimately chosen because they have a reputation as the best solution for professional card printing. The Office purchased the printers from Datalex S.A., an Elite Zebra Card Printer Solutions partner, based on the company’s previous good relations with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
During the Greek Presidency, there were two European Council meetings, five International Summits, and 39 regular Council meetings, as well as 14 informal Council and ministerial meetings. In addition, 16 international meetings of the Troika and more than 180 other meetings and conferences were scheduled for 36 towns around Greece, involving approximately 45,000 people.
The Office used three Zebra P520 printers to provide high quality, secure printing with lamination. Each identity card featured a unique bar code holding personal information on individual delegates, thus providing an electronic Accreditation Control and Verification system used in conjunction with Portable Data Terminals. The cards also incorporated a customized hologram with the “Flying Swallows” logo of the Greek EU Presidency.
The Office needed a card printer that produces highly durable cards quickly in a secure environment. The P520 card printers were selected for this project because of their robustness, speed and security features. Featuring dual-sided, full color printing and laminating, the P520 produces a card in less than 35 seconds, offering the benefit of instant issuance.
A dedicated secure area was set up to accommodate the Zebra card printers and equipment. According to the Office, the P520 printers proved to be “quite straightforward to use.” N5 card design software complemented the Zebra printers.
The Office also purchased four P310 printers for back up and support in particularly busy periods. The P310 is the world’s most popular card printer, offering fast, full-color, high-quality plastic card printing at a very affordable price. The P310 prints sharp, readable bar codes, ID photos, graphics and text, edge-to-edge, in just seconds. The printer’s space-saving, small footprint design makes it a good choice for on-the-spot desktop and countertop printing applications.
In addition to the inherent security features of the bar code and customized hologram, the ID cards were color-coded which provided improved security, giving the Office the ability to limit delegate access to certain areas of each venue. The Office was able to issue delegates passes that either gave them access to all areas, or only those areas where their designated meeting sessions were held.
By using Zebra printers for secure accreditation identity cards in conjunction with the verification control system, the Greek EU Presidency pioneered the way for future EU Presidencies to achieve successful and secure accreditation procedures.
The Zebra P520
The P520 is the quietest and most economical card printer with a built-in laminating station on the market. It prints color text, photographs, bar codes, signature scans and graphics with a 300 dpi resolution and encodes magnetic stripes or smart cards. It laminates with clear or hologram over-laminate patches that meet ISO standards for card flatness. The P520 prints and laminates both sides of a card for dual-sided applications.