The EU regulation 2016/1191 adopted back in 2016 and entered into force on February 16th of this year, is set to establish new rules in connection with the free circulation of public documents within the European Union.
In an attempt to simplify the free movement of the EU citizens between the members states, the central authorities in Brussels have passed the new bill regulation that no longer require stamp and bureaucratic procedures for document validation. In other words, all EU issued public documents are hereinafter automatically recognized between the member states, without the need of an Apostille legalization.
Furthermore, the new legislation establishes a new era of intra-state connection, as this simplification of formalities also concerns copy certifications and public document translations, which are no longer required. All EU states must hereinafter issue multilingual standards forms, available as attachments to the original documents. These forms can be automatically issued upon request and are directly recognizable in any other EU member state. The public documents concerned are birth certificates, marriage certificates, civil partnership certificates, clear criminal record certificates etc. These forms are now available in all official languages of each EU member state.
The new regulation is also a great step towards the administrative cooperation between the countries of the Union, due to the digital connection that has been established though the Internal Market Information System (IMI), an IT information platform, linking national, regional and local authorities across borders. Consequently, in case of a serious doubt about the authenticity of a particular document, the public authority of one member state can directly contact their counterparts, responsible of issuance of the document, for verification and confirmation.
In conclusion, safe to acknowledge that the entry in force of the new legislation is definitely a faster and cost-efficient way for the EU citizens to exercise their right of free movement within the boarders of the Union. However, readers should keep in mind that the EU regulation 2016/1191 has no effect on the content recognition of the public documents issued by a foreign administrative authority, as it only concerns the documents’ authenticity.
For further information or a private consultation, please contact our office and one of the legal consultants of Arsen Theofanidis LLC will be glad to assist you.
By N. Kalifatidou
Advocate – Legal Consultant
For Arsen Theofanidis LLC