Do you want to know how the requirements for filing public documents have been simplified among the member countries of the European Union?

EU Regulation 2016/1191 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 6 July 2016, which promotes the free movement of citizens by simplifying the requirements for filing certain public documents in the EU, applicable since 16 February 2019 in all EU countries.

Prior to the entry into force of the above-mentioned Regulation, EU citizens who had to present a public document in another member country were obliged to do so with a stamp of authenticity, called an apostille, as well as a certified copy and a sworn translation of the document.

Since the entry into force of EU Regulation 2016/1191, however, public documents and their certified copies issued by the authorities of one EU country must be accepted as authentic by the authorities of another EU country without the need for a stamp of authenticity, i.e. the apostille. However, according to Article 2 of this Regulation, documents in this sense are those relating to birth, proof of life, death, marriage (including capacity to marry and marital status), divorce, legal separation or annulment of marriage, registered partnership, termination of the registration of a partnership, legal separation or cancellation of a registered partnership, parentage, adoption, domicile or residence, nationality and absence of a criminal record, and the right to vote and stand as a candidate in municipal elections and elections to the European Parliament.

In this respect, the Regulation has also removed the obligation to provide the original of the authentic act and a certified copy, since if only the certified copy is permitted in the Member State from which the document originates, the receiving State cannot oblige the citizen to provide the original document.

A further novelty of this Regulation is the removal of the obligation to provide a translation of public documents. However, if the document is not in one of the official languages of the country requesting the document, citizens can ask the authorities for a standard multilingual form, available in all EU languages. This will be attached to the public document in order to avoid translation requirements. In these cases, the receiving authority may only require a translation of the public document in exceptional circumstances.

Notwithstanding the above, if the authorities of the receiving EU country require a certified translation of the public document submitted by the citizen, they must accept a certified translation made in any EU country.


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