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Acceptance of public documents: new rules will make life easier for EU citizens living abroad


09 Jun 2016


Public Affairs
Trade & Society

Legislation approved today on acceptance of public documents will make life easier for citizens moving to another EU country. The law, passed today by the European Parliament in Strasbourg, simplifies procedures for proving the authenticity of documents such as marriage or birth certificates. The S&D Group backs the move but has called for a follow up proposal, which is the acceptance of the content of public document. This would ensure that not only heterosexual marriages but also same-sex marriages and civil partnerships are recognised when EU citizens move to another EU state.

Mady Delvaux, S&D MEP and author of the report said:
“These new rules should make life easier for the millions of Europeans who go and live in another EU country. At the moment citizens face unnecessary burdens when attempting to get documents from their home state accepted in their new country. From now on documents on capacity to marry or to enter in a registered partnership, as well as documents certifying the absence of a criminal record, would be accepted in other member states without further legalisation procedures. This new legislation will allow citizens to save money and time.”
“New rules will also mean that EU citizens no longer have to pay for expensive official translations of official documents. Instead, new multilingual standard forms attached to documents will replace the certified translation.
“This is a good starting point and should make the lives of EU citizens easier, however we believe the scope should be extended further. In particular, concerning the documents regarding business, disabilities and education or training diplomas. We also want the content of public documents to be recognised. Only then can we ensure that cross-border marriages are as uncomplicated as those within a member state are and ensure EU citizens in civil partnerships or same-sex marriages would have that status recognised in any other EU states. We will continue to push the Commission to come up with proposals on this issue.”


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European Parliament, office of MEP Siegfried Mureșan
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