One step towards the total freedom of movement in the European Union

Written on 22 May 2019

The objective of attaining the complete freedom of movement within the European Union, with no physical and legal internal frontiers, is closer after the entry into force on 16 February 2019 of the Regulation (EU) 2016/1191, of 6 July 2016, on promoting the free movement of citizens by simplifying the requirements for presenting certain public documents in the European Union.

This progress has been made possible through the exemption from all forms of legalization and translation of those public documents issued by a Member State authority for presentation in another Member State.

This means that those Union citizens required to present in a Member State any of the public documents included within the scope of Regulation 2016/1191 (such as administrative or court documents or notarial acts concerning the individual’s birth, marriage, nationality or parenthood issued by another Member State), are exempt from the time-consuming and expensive procedure of their legalization with the Hague Convention Apostille and translation into the State’s official language.

Considering that in many cases the work permits and visas application processes require individuals to show proof of their marital status, name or parenthood, such free circulation of public documents will surely involve an important reduction not only of administrative costs but also time, which is one of the handicaps that companies face when applying for a work permit for their foreign candidates or employees.