Making a complaint

How to submit a complaint to the European Commission

Please use the standard complaint form, which will make it easier for us to understand your problem. You may fill out the form in any official EU language. Please make sure you include the following details:

  • Describe exactly how you believe that national authorities have infringed Union law, and which is the Union law that you believe they have infringed
  • Give details of any steps you have already taken to obtain redress.

What does the European Commission do with your complaint?

-The European Commission will confirm to you that it has received your complaint within 15 working days.

-Within the following 12 months, the European Commission will assess your complaint and aim to decide whether to initiate the formal infringement procedure against the Member State in question. If the issue that you raise is especially complicated, or if the European Commission needs to ask you or others for more information or details, it may take longer than 12 months to reach a decision. If the European Commission decides that your complaint is founded and initiates the formal infringement procedure against the Member State in question, it will inform you and let you know how the case progresses.

-If the European Commission thinks that your problem could be solved more effectively by any of the available informal or out-of-court problem-solving services, it may propose to you that your file be transferred to those services.

-If the Commission decides your problem does not involve a breach of Union law, it will inform you by letter before it closes your file.

-At any time, you may give the European Commission additional material about your complaint or ask to meet representatives of the European Commission.

Find out more about how the European Commission handles its relations with complainants: Communication on the handling of relations with the complainant in respect of the application of Union law.

There are two ways of submitting a complaint:

via internet: online complaint form

by post

If you wish to submit a complaint in 'paper' form, you are encouraged to fill in the standard complaint form pdf - 537 KB [537 KB] български (bg) čeština (cs) dansk (da) Deutsch (de) eesti keel (et) ελληνικά (el) español (es) français (fr) Gaeilge (ga) hrvatski (hr) italiano (it) latviešu valoda (lv) lietuvių kalba (lt) magyar (hu) Malti (mt) Nederlands (nl) polski (pl) português (pt) română (ro) slovenčina (sk) slovenščina (sl) suomi (fi) svenska (sv) which is available in all EU languages. The form will help you structure your complaint and ensure it contains all the relevant information. To facilitate the processing of your complaint, please fill in the form in a legible manner. Complaints can be sent to the following address:

European Commission
B-1049 Brussels
EU Commission office in your country
by fax: 3222964335

Complainants are an important source of information for detection of possible infringement cases, the Commission is not bound to open the formal infringement procedure, even in cases where a complaint reveals the presence of an infringement (indeed the Commission enjoys discretionary power as to in deciding if and when to commence infringement proceedings). Moreover, if the Commission takes a Member State to the Court of Justice and wins the case, the Member State will have to take all actions to remedy the violations. However, this does not mean that complainants are directly entitled to compensation or damages. To seek compensation, complainants must still take their case to a national court within the time limit set out in national law.