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Red tape cut for those who move to another EU Member State

Red tape cut for those who move to another EU Member State

Photo by Ildar Sagdejev

(BRUSSELS) - From 16 February, bureaucratic procedures for citizens who need to present a public document to get married or start a job in the country they live in have been cut across the European Union.

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. This is the case of around 17 million EU citizens.

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.

Under the new rules, citizens are also no longer required to provide a sworn/ official translation of their public document in many cases. At the same time, the regulation foresees strong safeguards to prevent fraud.

The EU's Justice Commissioner Vera Jourova said it was good news for people who live or want to live in another EU country: "there will be no more costly and time-consuming bureaucratic procedures for citizens who need to present a public document to get married or start a job in the country they live in. It will make the daily lives of people living and working in another EU country easier and cheaper."

The new rules put an end to a number of bureaucratic procedures:

  • Public documents (for example, birth, marriage, or the absence of a criminal record) issued in an EU country must be accepted as authentic by the authorities in another Member State without the need to carry an authenticity stamp;
  • 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 request a multilingual standard form, available in all EU languages, to present as translation aid attached to their public document to avoid translation requirements;
  • The regulation sets safeguards against fraud: if a receiving authority has reasonable doubts about the authenticity of a public document, it will be able to check its authenticity with the issuing authority in the other EU country through an existing IT platform, the Internal Market Information System (IMI).

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.

Public documents including multilingual forms on the E-Justice Portal

Public documents Regulation


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