The legislative process of the EU regulation on public documents reaches its final stage

This post has been written by Ilaria Aquironi.

After nearly three years of negotiations, the time apparently has come for the adoption of a regulation aimed at simplifying the requirements for presenting certain public documents in the European Union (the initial proposal may be found here).

The regulation aims at promoting the free movement of EU citizens (a) by facilitating the circulation within the European Union of certain public documents (those regarding, inter alia, birth, death, marriage, legal separation and divorce, registered partnership, adoption, parenthood), as well as their certified copies, and (b) by simplifying other formalities, such as the requirement of certified copies and translations of public documents.

Here’s a summary of the key developments occurred over the last two years.

In February 2014, the European Parliament adopted its position at first reading on the proposed regulation. In June 2015, the Council approved, as a general approach, a compromise text (contained in document 6812/15 and its annex I, in combination with document n. 3992/15, and annexes I, II and III here) and further agreed that it should constitute the basis for future negotiations with the European Parliament.

In October 2015, an agreement was reached between the Council and the European Parliament on a compromise package; the agreement was then confirmed  by COREPER and the compromise package was endorsed by the European Parliament’s Committee on Legal Affairs.

The Chair of the latter Committee addressed a letter to the Chair of COREPER II to inform him that, should the Council formally transmit its position to the European Parliament in the form presented in the Annex to that letter, he would recommend to the plenary that the Council’s position be accepted without amendment, subject to legal-linguistic verification, at the European Parliament’s second reading.

In December 2015, the Council adopted a political agreement on the compromise package and instructed the Council’s legal-linguistic experts to proceed with the revision of the text.

The text resulting from the revision carried out by the legal-linguistic experts can be found here (Council document No 14956/15 of 25 February 2016).

The Council is expected to discuss the adoption of its position at first reading on 10 and 11 March 2016.

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