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    Reporting period: 01/2016 - 12/2016

    Your Europe Advice

    About

    Your Europe Advice is an EU-run advisory service answering citizens' and enterprises' queries (by phone or online) about their EU rights in the Single Market. It relies on a network of more than 63 legal experts who handle enquiries in all 24 official EU languages.

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    Achievements

    • Since 2009 the number of enquiries has more than doubled (90% of enquiries are eligible).
    • The timeliness and quality of replies is being maintained even though the questions put to Your Europe Advice are increasingly specific and complex.
    • Quality controls of experts' replies continue to be very strict.
    • Your Europe Advice's experts have benefited from a 2-days in-house training seminar on new EU law
    • The system of quarterly feedback reporting - based on legal analysis of the problem areas identified via the enquiries - is by now well established and allows providing useful feedback to policy units of the European Commission.
    • Experts participated in a facebook chat on professional qualifications. Such social media activities allow providing real-time online advice to citizens and businesses.
    • Cooperation & coordination with the Commission's related support services (SOLVIT, Europe Direct Contact Centre (EDCC), Your Europe website) has improved.
    • Your Europe Advice has significantly contributed to updating and developing the Your Europe Portal.
    • The direct transfer system between Your Europe Advice, SOLVIT and EDCC is working smoothly.

    A typical question to "Your Europe Advice"

    A Belgian who had worked in France for 4 years lost his job recently. He moved back to Belgium to look for work and wanted to know whether he would receive unemployment benefits from the French or the Belgian social security system.
    Your Europe Advice told him that France - where he had last worked - was responsible for examining his right to unemployment benefit under national law. French unemployment benefit could be transferred to Belgium for up to 3 months, with the option of one renewal.

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    Facts and Figures

    Running the Service

    Service efficiency is measured primarily by the speed of replies. The aim is to reply to enquiries within 3 working days. 94,14% of replies are sent within that deadline and nearly 99% within four working days.

    Speed of replies

    Service effectiveness is measured by testing the quality of the replies through randomly selected samples of 10% of cases each month. Each sample case is assessed according to the following nine substantial or formal criteria agreed with the Commission:

    substantial (content)formal (style)
    • relevance
    • accuracy
    • completeness
    • legal reference
    • enabling (signposting)
    • expression
    • focus
    • structure
    • personal

     

    Replies are found to provide comprehensive and accurate advice on the issues in question. Completeness is an important criterion as many enquiries are rather complex.

    Particular attention is paid to the user-friendliness of replies such as tailor-made answers, clear structures and easily understandable language (no EU or legal jargon).

     

    Total annual enquiries

    Between 2009 and 2016 the number of enquiries more than doubled. Compared to last year, the use of Your Europe Advice slightly decreased which is due to more, more relevant and more user-friendly information on the Your Europe website.

    Enquiries by type of user

    Enquiries by age scale

     Enquiries by nationality

     Enquiries by subject area
    (% of total enquiries)

    The main subject areas stayed the same in comparison to previous years. Regarding entry procedures, taxation and consumer rights a certain increase could be observed. They show where people's real problems with the Single Market lie.

    Feedback

    Enquiries are analysed and regular reports are sent to the Commission. These reports provide an up-to-date picture of where obstacles to exercising EU rights persist.

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    Priorities

    • intensify cooperation with SOLVIT, Europe Direct and other networks
    • further improve quality and user-friendliness
    • contribute to improving the Your Europe Portal
    • ensure that experts continue to provide high quality replies
    • further explore the use of interactive tools for delivering advice