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Minskad byråkrati för medborgarna: att underlätta fri rörlighet i fråga om officiella handlingar och erkännande av verkningarna av civilståndshandlingar

Opinion Number: CDR 148/2011
Rapporteur: MCGOWAN Patrick
Commission: CIVEX
Status: Adopted
Date: 14/12/2011

- notes that civil status records such as birth, marriage and death certificates, divorce registrations, name changes and so on are fundamental to a person’s identity and ability to fully participate in social, economic and political life;

- underlines the fact that public documents fulfil an essential function in ensuring that EU rights can be exercised effectively by their beneficiaries;

- stresses the fact that civil status legislation is exclusively within the competence of Member States and their constituent local and regional authorities; emphasises that adherence to the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality are required;

- shares the Commission’s broad objective of identifying and removing obstacles to exercising EU rights particularly in cross-border situations and enabling citizens to experience further practical and visible benefits from ongoing EU integration and urges that addressing the needs of citizens be the primary focus of policy development in this area;

- concurs that the legalisation of public documents between Member States should not be necessary, however given that there is unreliable and incomplete information exchange, suggests that in advance of introducing legislation, facilities for administrative cooperation may need to be established so that registrars can seek to authenticate documents should they need to do so; in the interim and to facilitate dealings with non-EU countries, considers that Member States should examine with a view to adoption, the e-APP for the issuance and use of electronic apostilles;

- considers that the possibility for a European Civil Status Office should not be ignored if it could be shown to be more efficient and more effective than establishing a multitude of new offices or maintaining similar offices in Member States;

- would propose that the introduction of best practice guidance for Member States be considered to facilitate the provision of civil status documentation on a cross-border basis.
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