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Difficulties Using Public Documents in the EU: Online Survey


What kind of problems do people in the EU experience when they move to another Member State?


Citizens and companies share one common challenge when exercising their free movement rights: they have to use public documents issued in one Member State in the Member State of their destination. In practice this process causes several practical and legal difficulties. One may think of formalities to be carried out before a document is recognised abroad, or of issues related to the effectiveness of the use of the documents in question.

European citizens and companies benefit from rights of free movement in the European Union. Companies move to other Member States and conduct business between several Member States for economic reasons. Citizens move abroad for study, work or to join their partner or family.

The British Institute of International and Comparative Law is conducting a research project on the difficulties using public documents in the EU. Part of this research involves online surveys for citizens and companies. The aim of these surveys is to identify the practical problems citizens and companies face as regards public documents when moving to another Member State.

The online surveys have been launched today and are available in English, German, French, Italian, Polish and Spanish. We invite anyone with experience of this process to take a moment to complete the relevant survey:


When moving abroad citizens need to show in their new Member State documents such as diplomas, marriage certificates, and birth certificates. These are generally necessary to be able to study, work, reside, or enjoy social security in the Member State of destination.


Companies require the use abroad of documents such as company documents, business licences, and patents; documents needed to prove proper registration of the company, authorisation to conduct a certain business, or registration of a patent in the Member State of origin. These are generally necessary to be able to establish a company abroad, conduct a business, or protect patents in the Member State of destination.


For editors only:
For further questions on this news item or on the project please contact Jacob van de Velden: j.vandevelden@biicl.org.
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