On Enlargement day (1 May 2004) DG Internal Market launched a new version of its ‘Dialogue with Citizens’ website.
The content of the site aims to improve EU citizens’ awareness of their Internal Market rights relating to opportunities to live, work, study and travel within the EU. It also sets out to help them make the most of these rights in practice through the provision of both EU-wide and national-level information, as well as a personalised advice service.
New interface in all 20 EU languages
All information on the site, at both EU and national level, has been fully updated. The information is presented via a completely redesigned user interface that makes the site more intuitive and easily navigable. This interface is available in all 20 official EU languages, including the languages of the new Member States.
A wide variety of information available
The information on the site is presented in a ‘cascade’ approach:
General EU-wide guides: the citizen can begin by learning more about the general situation at EU level for a particular area.
Factsheets: the citizen can then look for more specific information in factsheets on areas such as Recognition of Qualifications, Residence Rights or Social Security. These factsheets give practical information on the situation both at EU level and in specific Member States and on how to exercise his/her rights there in practice. National information is provided by the Member State itself (information for the new Member States will be added as soon as possible).
Useful links and addresses: having established the situation at both EU and national level, the citizen can then directly contact the relevant EU or national institution or service that can help in the practical exercise of his/her Internal Market rights.
Personalised advice and problem solving: if the citizen subsequently encounters problems, then he/she can consult a list of EU networks that can provide personalised advice on how to assert Internal Market rights and obtain redress.
Citizens Signpost Service
One of these EU networks is the ‘Citizens Signpost Service’ (CSS), which is an essential part of the ‘Dialogue with Citizens’ initiative. It enables EU citizens to receive free personalised advice on how to tackle practical problems they have encountered while trying to exercise their rights in the Internal Market. Users of this service receive an answer in their own language within three working days.
As of 1 May 2004, this service is also open to the citizens of the new Member States and covers all 20 official EU languages.
To contact CSS, visit the ‘Dialogue with Citizens’ website or call ‘Europe Direct’ on its single EU-wide freephone number 00 800 6 7 8 9 10 11.
Visit the ‘Dialogue with Citizens’ website at:
Maria Da Graca Barbedo
TEL: +32 (0) 2.296 5008
FAX: +32 (0)2. 295 4351