SOLVIT and Your Europe Advice (YEA)
SOLVIT is a Europe-wide service
that helps citizens and businesses exercise their Internal
Market rights by solving problems they encounter with public
authorities. SOLVIT uses a data base for requests for help
in order to solve problems submitted by citizens and businesses
to the European Commission and the national SOLVIT centres
in all EEA Member States; the national SOLVIT centres are
part of the national administrations.
Your Europe Advice is a Europe-wide
service operated by European Citizens Action Service (ECAS)
on the basis of a contract with the European Commission. ECAS
employs legal experts who offer citizens tailored information
and advice on their rights under internal market rules. Where
appropriate, the citizens are directed or "signposted"
to the authority or another body (at local, national or European
level) that should be able to solve their particular problems.
Your Europe Advice uses a database for enquiries from citizens.
Your Europe Advice and SOLVIT
work closely together and provide a seamless service that
addresses the needs of the applicants without requiring them
to submit their queries twice. For this purpose a case may
be transferred from Your Europe Advice to SOLVIT or vice versa,
including the transfer of personal data from one to the other
2. What is the applicable law?
All processing acts within the
responsibility of the European Commission are governed by
Regulation 45/2001 of the European Parliament and of the Council
of 18 December 2000 on the protection of individuals with
regard to the processing of personal data by the Community
institutions and bodies and on the free movement of such data.
All processing acts within the
responsibility of the national SOLVIT centres and of the European
Commission's contractor, European Citizens Action Service
(ECAS) are governed by Directive 95/46/EC of the European
Parliament and of the Council of 24 October 1995 on the protection
of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data
and on the free movement of such data and the relevant national
3. Which data are processed?
When submitting a question or case to Your Europe Advice
or SOLVIT the following personal data are processed: full
name, age scale, full address, e-mail address, telephone number,
economic category, nationality, and any other personal data
contained in the enquiry submitted by the applicant. Where
available, documents in support of the case will also be added
to the file in the SOLVIT database.
These personal data are processed by the European Commission,
by the national SOLVIT centres, where necessary by the public
authorities involved in the case, by the European Commission's
contractor, European Citizens Action Service (ECAS) and by
the legal experts examining the case on behalf of ECAS.
4. What is the purpose of processing data?
These data are needed to enable the legal experts working
for ECAS and the SOLVIT centres involved to try and reply
to the enquiry asked and to solve the problem submitted efficiently.
The data will only be used for replying to the enquiry, solving
the problem, for quality control of the service provided,
for statistical purposes and in certain cases, depending on
the substance, as supporting evidence to address structural
problems in the functioning of the internal market or produce
The data are not shared with third parties for direct marketing
or any other purposes.
5. Who has access to your personal data?
The following persons can have access to your personal data
where this is necessary for handling your case, for quality
control or for technical maintenance of the database applications:
- European Commission staff in charge of SOLVIT and Your
- staff of the national SOLVIT centres,
- staff involved in a case in the relevant national public
- the technical support team of the European Commission,
- specifically designated ECAS staff,
- staff of its technical contractor,
- the legal experts responsible for replying to the enquiry
on behalf of ECAS.
6. How long will your data be stored?
All personal data stored are erased not later than 3 years
after the case has been closed or after the reply. This is
to allow follow-up when there are new developments after the
closure of the case. After this retention period case information
is only kept in anonymous form for statistical purposes. However,
supporting documents that are part of the case file and which
may also contain personal data will be kept for as long as
necessary to address more structural problems in the functioning
of the internal market, unless you object to further use of
these details for that purpose. In that case, supporting documents
will also be deleted from the database.
7. Can you refuse processing of your personal data?
SOLVIT is aimed at solving specific problems for individual
citizens or businesses. In most cases it will therefore be
very difficult to obtain a positive outcome without the specific
details of the case including personal data such as contact
details. Nevertheless, the system allows the input of cases
where all personal details regarding the client are withheld
from the so-called Lead SOLVIT Centre charged with solving
the problem. In such cases only the Home SOLVIT Centre and
the European Commission staff in charge of SOLVIT have access
to the data that identify the client.
Your Europe Advice is aimed at providing specific advice
to individual citizens. This is done by experts who need access
to the enquiry including any personal data of the citizen
that are necessary to analyse the situation and answer the
question. For this purpose a detailed description of the specific
circumstances of the citizen and either an e-mail address
or a telephone number will be essential.
8. Which security measures are in place against unauthorised access?
Access to the personal data in the SOLVIT and Your Europe
Advice databases is only allowed to a restricted group as
described above under point 5 "Who has access to your
personal data?". Access to personal data requires a user
ID and a password and, for the SOLVIT database, partially
also an additional digital code similar to that used in personal
computer banking systems. The SOLVIT system is also partially
protected by https, a special, secure internet protocol.
9. Access to your personal data
You have no direct access to your personal data stored in
the SOLVIT and Your Europe Advice databases. If you want to
know which of your personal data are or have been processed
or wish to modify or delete such data, please contact the
SOLVIT or Your Europe Advice team at the address below in
If your case has been dealt with by a national SOLVIT centre
you can ask the Home SOLVIT Centre handling the case for a
full record of all information included and may request that
incorrect data are corrected or deleted.
10. Additional information
In addition to these Privacy Statement the "important
legal notice" (http://europa.eu/geninfo/legal_notices_en.htm)
Dedicated mailboxes are available for all queries regarding
SOLVIT and Your Europe Advice addressed to the European Commission.
The designated officials within the Commission service in
charge of the mailbox will process your personal data only
to the extent necessary for responding to your query. If the
service is unable to respond, it will forward your message
to another service inside the Commission. You will receive
a message informing you about this.
We will not forward your message to anyone outside the Commission,
but if contacting a third party is the best way of dealing
with your query, we will advise you to do so directly. The
messages and related data are stored as long as necessary
to respond to them and, depending on the substance, for any
follow-up that may be needed beyond the initial reply.
If you want to receive regular news about SOLVIT, you can
subscribe to an e-mailing list. All news messages will include
instructions on how to unsubscribe from the list. Access to
the mailing list is limited to the European Commission staff
responsible for SOLVIT. E-mail addresses on the list will
not be shared with other services within the Commission or
with third parties for direct marketing purposes.
SOLVIT and Your Europe Advice are managed by the European
Commission's Directorate General for Internal Market and Services,
Single Market Assistance Services Task Force. The responsible
person (controller) is the respective Head of the Task Force.
The contact address for SOLVIT and Your Europe Advice is:
Internal Market and Services Directorate General
Single Market Assistance Services Task Force
If you want to file a complaint against any data processing
act executed under the Commission's responsibility you may
contact the European Data Protection Supervisor:
European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS)
60 rue Wiertz (MO 63)
phone: +32 2 283 19 00
fax: +32 2 283 19 50