EU cuts red tape between member states

The European Parliament has adopted a regulation to cut costs and formalities for citizens who need to present a public document in another EU country.

The new regulation was proposed by the European Commission and adopted by the Parliament yesterday (9 June).

Currently, citizens moving to or living in another EU country are obliged to obtain a stamp or a so-called apostille to prove that their public documents are authentic.

Under the new regulation, this stamp and the bureaucratic procedures linked to it will no longer be required when presenting public documents issued in one EU country to the authorities of another EU country.

The regulation deals only with the authenticity of public documents, so Member States will continue to apply their national rules concerning the recognition of the content and effects of a public document issued in another EU country.

“We have good news for people who move to another EU country for example to study or work,” said Věra Jourová, Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality.

“These citizens often need to go through costly and time-consuming bureaucratic procedures to present a public document to get married or obtain a job in the country they live in. Today, we put an end to this red tape and help people move easily across the European Union.”

Around 13 million EU citizens live in another EU country than their own. The Commission refers to a Eurobarometer survey from 2011 according to which 73 % of EU citizens believe that measures should be taken to improve the circulation of public documents between EU countries.

The new regulation covers public documents in a number of areas, such as birth, death, name, marriage, divorce, parenthood, adoption, domicile, nationality, absence of criminal record and  the right to vote and stand as a candidate in municipal elections and elections to the European Parliament.

The regulation also abolishes the obligation for citizens to provide in all cases a certified copy and a certified translation of their public documents. Citizens can also use a multilingual standard form, available in all EU languages, to present as translation aid attached to their public document to avoid translation requirements.

Member States will have two years and a half from the date of entry into force of the regulation to adopt all necessary measures to allow for the smooth application of the regulation at the end of this period.

The Brussels Times (Source: The European Commission)

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