Fabian Demicoli

MEPs back plans to cut red tape for citizens & firms

Citizens and
firms moving to another EU country would face less red tape under a draft law
passed by Parliament. But this law, which would simplify procedures for proving
the authenticity of certain public documents such as birth or marriage
certificates, still needs to be approved by EU member states.

The law,
which lays down rules for testing the authenticity of public documents, but
would not require member states to recognize their contents, was passed by 573
votes to 62, with 44 abstentions.


Fewer administrative formalities

The law
would do away with administrative formalities of certain public documents, such
as those proving civil status, family relationship or intellectual property
rights. MEPs want more documents to be covered by simplified procedures and
propose for example that educational records, as well as tax and social
insurance documents, should be included. MEPs also beefed up rules designed to
facilitate acceptance of non-certified copies and translations.


Optional multilingual EU forms

The law
would also introduce new multilingual EU forms which citizens could use instead
of national ones to prove birth, death, marriage, registered partnership or the
legal status and representation of a company. MEPs also amended the proposal to
include a further eleven forms concerning name, descent, adoption, non-married
status, divorce, dissolution of a registered partnership and so on.

Safeguards against fraud

In the
event of reasonable doubt, the authorities would be able to check the
authenticity of a document with the issuing authorities, using the existing
Internal Market Information System (IMI).

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