EU votes to remove marriage certificate “red tape”
New rules, agreed by the European Parliament last week and set to come into force in 2019, mean that many of the public documents issued by any one EU country have to be accepted across the whole of the 28-nation bloc.
Cutting back on the red tape will benefit the 13 million citizens who currently live in a member state other than their own and often complain about having to go through time-consuming and costly procedures under the current arrangements.
Mady Delvaux, the Luxemburg politician who guided the reforms through the Parliament, said that the change was a step towards eliminating “bureaucratic hurdles.”
“The text is the first step in a long process, the final aim of which is to have common public documents within the EU,” she said last week.
To ensure there are safeguards against fraud, the authorities in different member states will still be able to check with the country that issued the marriage certificate to ensure it is a genuine document.
The new rules will also apply to other important paperwork, including birth certificates, death certificates and registered partnerships. In two years’ time discussions will take place about whether the rules should be extended still further.
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