People living in another EU country are often confronted with various administrative hurdles when recognizing birth certificates or marriage certificates. The new regulation adopted by the European Parliament simplifies administrative procedures relating to public documents since 16 February 2019.

The regulation, which was created on 26 July 2016, covers rules and formalities for citizens residing in another EU country as their homeland. The new provisions are intended to reduce various administrative formalities and costs for citizens. Since 16 February 2019, public documents issued by one of the EU Member States have been recognized as binding without the need for a certificate of authenticity (the so-called Apostille). Thus, it is no longer necessary to check official papers such as birth certificate, notary deed, court judgments, etc., on the Apostille.

This also eliminates the obligation to present together with the official document a certified copy and a certified translation of their public deeds. Instead, citizens also have access to multilingual standard forms in all EU languages, which can be attached to public documents as translation aids, eliminating the need for translation.

This regulation introduces safeguards against fraudulent official documents. If the receiving authority has legitimate doubts about the authenticity of a public document, it may examine its authenticity with the issuing authority of the other EU Member State through an existing IT platform (the Internal Market Information System, IMI).

The new EU Regulation applies to the following cases:

  • Public documents issued by public authorities in third countries.
  • Authentic copies of documents in an EU Member State.
  • In the case of recognition in one Member State in relation to the content of public documents issued by another EU Member State

The Member States have two-and-a-half years from the date of entry into force of the Regulation, to take all the measures necessary to ensure the smooth application of the Regulation after this deadline.