New EU rules cut red tape for citizens living or working in another Member State as of tomorrow

working 2019

(Unsplash, 2019)

This article is brought to you in association with the European Commission.


As of tomorrow, new EU rules to cut costs and formalities for citizens living outside their home country will start to apply 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.

“This is excellent news for citizens who live or want to live in another EU country,” said Věra Jourová, Commissioner for Justice, Consumers, and Gender Equality. “As of tomorrow, 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.

Background

Around 17 million EU citizens live in another EU country than their own. Around two million citizens are cross-border daily commuters who work or study in one country but live in another.

The rules were proposed by the European Commission back in April 2013, following feedback from citizens that there were long and cumbersome procedures. The rules were adopted in June 2016. EU countries had two and a half years to adapt to the new simplifications.

Annex     

The Regulation covers public documents in the following areas:

–  birth

–  a person being alive

–  death

–  name

–  marriage, including capacity to marry and marital status

–  divorce, legal separation or marriage annulment

–  registered partnership, including capacity to enter into a registered partnership and registered partnership status

–  dissolution of a registered partnership, legal separation or annulment of a registered partnership

–  parenthood

–  adoption

–  domicile and/or residence

–  nationality

–  absence of a criminal record and

–  the right to vote and stand as a candidate in municipal elections and elections to the European Parliament.

The Regulation introduces multilingual standard forms as translation aids of public documents concerning:

–  birth

–  a person 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.

Not all standard forms are issued in all Member States. Citizens can check which forms are issued in their EU country on the e-Justice Portal.

Public authorities can download and use the forms from the e-Justice Portal.

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