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Red tape cut if you move to another EU country

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Red tape cut if you move to another EU country

Photo by Ildar Sagdejev

(STRASBOURG) - Bureaucratic procedures for Europeans moving to another EU country for study or work are being cut, following a vote by Euro-MPs Thursday endorsing a deal previously struck by Parliament and Council.

Currently, citizens moving to or living in another EU country must obtain a stamp to prove that their public documents (such as a birth, marriage or death certificate) 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.

To avoid the need for translation, new multilingual EU forms are to be attached to the documents.

More than 14 million EU citizens live in an EU Member State other than their home country. To marry, to declare the birth of a child or to prove a clean criminal record, they need to go through breaucratic procedures which can be tedious.

The MEPs' vote takes "a first step towards reducing these bureaucratic hurdles, by abolishing the costly and burdensome 'apostille' requirement and introducing multilingual standard forms", says Parliament's rapporteur Mady Delvaux MEP.

The new rules would do away with administrative formalities such as the “legalization” or “apostille” certification of “public” documents such as those proving civil status, parenthood or nationality. MEPs and the Council had agreed to extend the rules’ scope to include documents proving the capacity to marry or to enter into a registered partnership. Documents certifying the absence of a criminal record would also be accepted in other EU member states without further legalization procedures.

The rules would also cover documents that citizens living in another member state must produce if they wish to vote and/or stand as candidate in European or municipal elections in the member state where they reside.

To avoid the need for translation, new multilingual EU forms are to be attached to the documents. These concern: birth, being alive, death, marriage (including capacity to marry and marital status), registered partnership (including capacity to enter into a registered partnership and registered partnership status), domicile and/or residence, and absence of a criminal record.

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 Union country.

The regulation will soon be published in the EU Official Journal and be brought into effect gradually, so as to apply in full from 2019.

European Commission Factsheet


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