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Enquiries and complaints about application of Union law

If you are a national of a Member State of the European Union, or if you live in one of the Member States, or if you run a business in the European Union, Union law gives you a number of rights

If you would like to know more, you can:

If you feel that your rights under Union law have not been respected by the national authorities of a Member State, you should first of all take up the matter with national bodies or authorities. This will often be the quickest and most effective way to resolve the issue.

Available means of redress at national level

As stated in the Treaties, the public authorities and Member States' courts have the main responsibility for the application of Union law.

Therefore, it is in your interest to make use of all possible means of redress at national level (administrative and/or out-of-court mediation mechanisms).

Depending on the system of each Member State, you may also submit your file to the national ombudsmen or regional ombudsmen.

Or you can bring your matter to the court of the Member State where the problem occurred. Find out more about national judicial systems or going to court. If solving your problem requires the annulment of a national decision, be aware that only national courts can annul it. If you are seeking compensation for damage, only national courts have the power, where appropriate, to order national authorities to compensate individuals for losses they have suffered due to a breach of Union law.

Other problem-solving instruments

Alternatively, you may wish to:

  • contact SOLVIT- SOLVIT is a service provided by the national administration, which deals with cross-border problems related to the misapplication of Union law by national public administrations in the Internal Market. There is a SOLVIT centre in every EU country, as well as in Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein. Your Member State will try to solve the problem with the other Member State concerned. Going through SOLVIT might take less time than making a formal complaint to the European Commission and can solve your individual problem. If a problem goes unresolved, or you consider that the proposed solution is unacceptable, you can still pursue legal action through a national court or lodge a formal complaint with the European Commission. Please be aware that addressing the issue to SOLVIT does not suspend time limits before national courts.

    Submit your problem to SOLVIT
  • contact European Consumer Centres – there is a Europe-wide network of consumer centres, which cooperate to help settle disputes between consumers and traders based in different EU countries, as well as in Norway and Iceland.

    Submit your problem to European Consumer Centres
  • contact FIN-Net – which is a network for resolving financial disputes out of court in EU countries, as well as in Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. They are responsible for handling disputes between consumers and financial services providers.

    Submit your problem to FIN-Net

Available actions at EU Level

Although you will usually be able to enforce your rights better in the country where you live, the European Union may also be able to help you:

    • The Committee on Petitions of the European Parliament

You have the right (Article 227 TFEU) to submit a petition to the European Parliament about the application of Union law. You may submit your petition by post or online via the European Parliament's website. You can find out more about petitions to the European Parliament on the EU citizenship and free movement website.

    • The European Commission

You can contact the European Commission about any measure (law, regulation or administrative action), absence of measure or practice by a Member State that you think is against Union law.

The European Commission can only take up your complaint if it is about a breach of Union law by authorities in an EU Member State. If your complaint is about the action of a private individual or body (unless you can show that national authorities are somehow involved), you have to try to solve it at the national level (courts or other ways of settling disputes). The European Commission cannot follow up matters that only involve private individuals or bodies, and that do not involve public authorities.

If you are not an expert in Union law, you may find it difficult to find out exactly which Union law you think has been breached. You can get advice quickly and informally from the Your Europe Advice service, in your own language.

    • The European Ombudsman

If you consider that the European Commission has not dealt with your request properly, you may contact the European Ombudsman (Articles 24 and 228 TFEU).