European Parliament votes for EU-wide acceptance public documents

Yesterday, the European Parliament has approved a regulation on acceptance of public documents for EU citizens living in another EU country.

Freedom of MovementThe regulation simplifies procedures for proving the authenticity of these documents regarding birth, death, marriage, divorce, parenthood, adoption etc.

However, the regulation does not affect recognition of the content of public documents. This means for example that partnered or married same-sex couples will continue to face problems with having the effects attached to their partnership or marriage recognised in other EU states that do not provide such options.

Earlier the Parliament has called on the Commission to go further and submit a proposal for a regulation to ensure mutual recognition of civil status documents (including legal gender recognition, marriages and registered partnerships) and their legal effects (see par 86).

Daniele Viotti MEP, Co-President of the LGBTI Intergroup, reacted: “Freedom of movement is the cornerstone of the EU. However, too many couples are still facing discriminatory barriers when exercising this right. A married same-sex couple in one state can lose its rights simply by crossing a border. This is unacceptable.”

“I am glad that the Parliament voted in favour of this regulation today. I strongly urge the Commission to listen to the Parliament’s calls to start to work on further legislation to ensure the mutual recognition of the effects of public documents related to civil status.”

Malin Bjork MEP, Vice-President of the LGBTI Intergroup, added: “While I welcome the vote today, I call on the Commission to do more and work on recognition of the effects of civil status documents in the EU. Freedom of movement simply does not exist if your civil status evaporates at the border of one Member State.”

“This won’t introduce same-sex unions into countries that don’t want it at the moment—the EU cannot do this. This is respecting the sovereignty of Member States where these unions exist.”

Read more: