What are the minimum requirements? 
In order to initiate the European phase the applicant must take at least the following steps within 31 months of the filing date or, if priority has been claimed, of the earliest priority date:
supply a translation if the Euro-PCT application was not published in one of the EPO's official languages (see points 5.5.001 ff),
specify the application documents on which the European grant procedure is to be based (see points 5.4.001 ff),
pay the filing fee provided for in Article 78(2) EPC, including an additional (page) fee for applications with more than 35 pages (see points 5.7.001 ff),
pay the designation fee (and any extension or validation fees) if the period under Rule 39 EPC has expired earlier (see points 5.8.001 ff),
pay the search fee if a supplementary European search report is to be drawn up (see points 5.9.016 ff),
file the request for examination and pay the examination fee if the period under Rule 70(1) EPC has expired earlier (see points 5.10.001 ff),
pay the renewal fee due in respect of the third year under Article 86(1) EPC, if the fee has fallen due earlier under Rule 51(1) EPC (see points 5.11.001 ff),
where applicable (in rare cases), file the certificate of exhibition mentioned in Article 55(2) EPC (see points 5.12.004 ff).

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