On 10 March 2016, the Council adopted its position at first reading concerning the proposal for a regulation on simplifying the acceptance of certain public documents in the European Union. The text adopted is the result of trilogue negotiations with the Commission and the European Parliament. It is available at the following address: http://data.consilium.europa.eu/doc/document/ST-14956-2015-INIT/en/pdf
The regulation will remove administrative formalities, such as legalisation and the apostille, which national authorities still impose for certain public documents issued by another Member State, for example documents relating to civil status (birth, death, marriage, registered partnership, etc.) or those certifying the absence of a criminal record. The regulation also covers public documents which EU citizens may be required to present when they wish to vote or stand as candidates in European Parliament or municipal elections.
In order to overcome language barriers, the regulation also establishes multilingual standard forms to be used as a translation aid attached to public documents used most frequently in a cross-border context.
The European Parliament’s vote at second reading should take place very soon in plenary session, enabling the Council’s position to be approved at first reading without amendments, thus completing the legislative process.
(source: Council of the European Union)