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Free circulation of public documents: Council confirms the agreement found with EP

On 21 October 2015, the Permanent Representatives Committee (Coreper) approved a compromise package agreed with the European Parliament on a regulation which will facilitate the free movement of citizens by simplifying the requirements for presenting certain public documents in the EU. 

The regulation aims at simplifying the procedures for the cross-border presentation of public documents related to civil status matters, such as births, deaths, marriages and registered partnerships, and public documents certifying the absence of a criminal record. The regulation also covers public documents which EU citizens may be required to present when they wish to vote and/or stand as candidates in elections to the European Parliament or in municipal elections.

The regulation will avoid the need for legalization or other formalities, and in so doing contribute directly to the creation of a citizens’ Europe.

“I am very pleased that Coreper has today confirmed the agreement reached by the Luxembourg Presidency with the European Parliament. I am convinced of the added value of this instrument and its benefits to everyone. It will have a particularly important impact on those citizens who are affected by cross-border issues and will significantly improve their daily lives”, said Félix Braz, the Minister for Justice of Luxembourg and President of the Council.

Next steps

After endorsement of the compromise package by the Legal Affairs Committee of the European Parliament on 12 November 2015,  the legal texts will come back to the Council in December 2015 for a political agreement, followed by the usual legal-linguistic revision before the formal adoption of the Council’s position at first reading.

Afterwards, the texts will be put for a vote in second reading at a plenary session of the European Parliament.

Courtesy of the Council of the European Union