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Simplifying recognition of birth certificates across the EU
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Published on 24-04-13

The European Commission is proposing that member states should recognise each other's basic documents – like birth and marriage certificates for citizens or legal entity for companies – without the need for special stamps or legalisation.

    Simplifying recognition of birth certificates across the EU

    Currently, such a special stamp – called apostille – is needed to prove the authenticity of a document. Legalisation is required to certify that the signatures on it are genuine. The Commission is also proposing that non-certified copies and non-certified translations should be accepted alongside the original document.

    The proposals provide safeguards against fraud. A national authority which has a reasonable doubt about a document will be able to verify its authenticity directly with the authorities that issued it via the existing Internal Market Information System (IMI) – a mechanism established by the Commission and already in use in other areas such as patient rights or cash-in-transit.

    Typical examples of documents currently affected by certification formalities include:

    • Civil status records (e.g. documents relating to birth, death, marriage and registered partnership);
    • Documents relating to residence, citizenship and nationality;
    • Documents relating to real estate;
    • Documents relating to legal status and representation of a company or other undertaking;
    • Documents relating to intellectual property rights;
    • Documents proving the absence of a criminal record

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    Last update: 24/04/2013  |Top