Civil status documents
In 2009, about 12 million EU citizens were living in an EU country other than their own. While people need to prove their civil status every day, getting official documents recognised in another EU country still remains an obstacle.
Recognition of the effects of civil documents
Free movement within the EU is one of the most valued rights for EU citizens.
As more and more people decide to move to another EU country, they need to prove their civil status in situations such as:
- employment ;
- major life events : marriage or divorce;
- administrative procedures.
To be able to prove their legal situation in an EU country, civil documents have to be recognised.
Despite the free movement right, EU citizens still have problems in terms of:
- time : for their documents to be recognised;
- translation : language can be a barrier;
- cost : citizens have to pay for authentication or translation.
Make the free circulation of civil documents a reality
Cross-border recognition of civil documents is the first step to an effective free movement right in everyday life.
To make the free circulation of civil documents a reality, the following actions have been taken:
- in December 2010, the Commission published a Green Paper: Less bureaucracy for citizens: promoting free movement of public documents and recognition of the effects of civil status records;
- in 2011, a Public Consultation was launched to take stakeholders' comments into account for future work.
In particular, the Commission will analyse how the effects of civil status records can be recognised in every EU country.