In a press release published on the 9th of June 2016, The European Commission has announced the final adoption of new rules to cut red tape on citizens’ public documents.
This will cut costs and administrative procedures for citizens who need to present a public document in another EU country.
The new regulation will put an end to a number of bureaucratic procedures:
- Public documents – birth and marriage certificates or the absence of a criminal record, for instance – issued in a Union country must be accepted as authentic in another Member State without the need to carry an authenticity stamp (i.e. the apostille);
- 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 a 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 country through an existing IT platform, the Internal Market Information System or IMI.
Member States 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.