Proposal for a Regulation on the Circulation of Public Documents

The European Commission has issued last week a new Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on promoting the free movement of citizens and businesses by simplifying the acceptance of certain public documents in the european Union and amending Regulation (EU) No 1024/2012 (COM(2013) 228).

The proposal establishes a clear set of horizontal rules exempting public documents falling under its scope from legalisation or similar formality (Apostille). In (sic) also foresees simplification of other formalities related to the cross-border acceptance of public documents, namely of certified copies and certified translations. In order to guarantee the authenticity of public documents which circulate from one Member State to another, it introduces an effective and secure administrative cooperation based on the Internal Market Information System (“the IMI”), established by Regulation (EU) No 1024/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 October 2012.15 The IMI includes also a functionality to maintain a repository of model templates of public documents used within the Single Market that can serve as first checking point of unfamiliar documents.

The proposal also establishes Union multilingual standard forms concerning birth, death, marriage, registered partnership and legal status and representation of a company or other undertaking. In addition, with the aim to further reduce the remaining translation requirements for EU citizens and businesses, such Union multilingual standard forms could be established at a later stage for public documents relating to name, parenthood, adoption, residence, citizenship and nationality, real estate, intellectual property rights and absence of a criminal record. The Union multilingual standard forms should not be mandatory but when used they
have the same formal evidentiary value as the simular public documents drawn up by the authorities of the issuing Member State.

The press release of the Commission can be found here.

H/T: Maarja Torga

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About Gilles Cuniberti

Gilles Cuniberti is a professor of law at the University of Luxembourg. Previously, he taught for 10 years at the Faculty of Law of Paris 12 University (Paris Val-de-Marne). His primary teaching and research interests are comparative law, conflict of laws, international arbitration and international litigation. He is a regular contributor to the Journal de Droit International (Clunet). He has been a visiting faculty at Duke Law School, Renmin University of China and Sheffield Hallam University. He holds a Doctorate in Law from Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne University and an LL.M. degree from Yale Law School. He was also a Paris-Oxford Doctoral Program Scholar for a year at Trinity College, Oxford. He is admitted to the Paris Bar and practiced on a part-time basis in the Paris office of a leading English firm from 1999 to 2004. SELECTED ARTICLES: Beyond Contract - The Case for Default Arbitration in International commercial Disputes, 32 FORDHAM INT'L L.J. 417 (2009) Le principe de territorialité des voies d'exécution, JOURNAL DU DROIT INTERNATIONAL 2008.963 The Recognition of Judgments Lacking Reasons in Europe: Access to Justice, Foreign Court Avoidance and Efficiency, 57 INT’L & COMP. L. Q. 25 (2008) L’apprezzamento dell’efficacia della clausola arbitrale da parte del giudice statale : un conflitto tra Italia e Francia, 21 DIRITTO COMMERCIO INTERNAZIONALE 2007.789 (with M. Winkler) E-mail: