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Enforcing your rights

Problems with Member States and complaints about them

When citizens or business try to exercise their rights under Internal Market rules but have encountered obstacles within the national administration of a Member State that they consider to be unjustified, they may seek assistance in solving the problem from a network of offices located in the Member States, called SOLVIT Centres.

Anyone may lodge a complaint with the Commission against a Member State about any measure (law, regulation or administrative action) or practice which they consider incompatible with Community law.

For this purpose the Commission has instituted a complaint procedure. It is important to note that complaints, irrespective of the result of any Commission action, do not safeguard the rights of the complainants at national level. Complainants should therefore make use of the national procedures for keeping their case open.

For problems related to the correct application of EU law this complaint form should be used and sent to the Commission.

Petitions to the European Parliament

Political suggestions for action at EU level or for action against Member States' behaviour can be submitted to the European Parliament by a petition under Article 194 EC Treaty.

Access to documents

The Commission regards public access to both published and unpublished documents as an important part of its broader information policy, aimed at providing as much information as possible both on its own activities and on those of the European Union as a whole.

Please find further information on the Secretariat general´s website and on EUR-Lex.

The Register of Comitology of the European Commission contains a register and repository of documents which relate to the work of comitology committees and that are transmitted from the Commission to the European Parliament.

If the document you are looking for is not published on this website please contact us.

Code of good administrative behaviour

The Code of Good Administrative Behaviour lays down the principles on which relations between the Commission and the public should be based:

  • lawfulness,
  • non-discrimination,
  • proportionality of measures to the aim pursued and
  • consistency.

Personal data protection

Under the terms of Regulation 45/2001, Community institutions and bodies must protect the right to privacy of natural persons when it comes to the processing of personal data.

A Directorate-General, unit or any other organisational entity may be a "controller", and must determine the purposes and means of processing personal data respecting the provisions laid down in Regulation 45/2001.

Each institution appoints its Data protection Officer.

The European Data Protection Supervisor, the "Data Protection Ombudsman", is an independent supervisory authority established by Regulation 45/2001. The Supervisor's task is to monitor the application of the Regulation's provisions to all processing operations carried out by any Community institution or body.

Please find further information on this website.

Ombudsman - complaints about EU institutions

The European Ombudsman deals with complaints from any citizen of the Union or any natural and legal person residing in the Member States.

These complaints should allege "mal-administration" in the activities of the Community institutions and bodies (with the exception of the Court of Justice and the Court of First Instance in their judicial role).