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The United Kingdom withdrew from the EU on 31 January, 2020. The 2020 edition of the Single Market Scoreboard refers to time periods preceding the withdrawal of the UK, and the UK is therefore listed as a Member State.

Your Europe Advice

Reporting period:
01/2019 – 12/2019

Your Europe Advice is an EU-run advisory service answering citizens’ and businesses’ queries (by phone or online) about their EU rights in the Single Market. It relies on a network of more than 60 legal experts who handle enquiries in all 24 official EU languages.

Your Europe Advice and the Single Market – why does it matter?

By answering citizens’ and businesses’ queries, Your Europe Advice plays an important role in identifying those areas of the Single Market where progress is needed. Not only does it inform citizens about their rights in the EU, but it also provides the European Commission with important information about areas where the Single Market is not operating as well as it should. The data collected by the service provides important evidence which will contribute to better policy-making.

Key messages

  • Your Europe Advice as the “human face of EU law” assists citizens and businesses to fully benefit from their personal EU rights.
  • Your Europe Advice – free of charge, quick and reliable.
  • Increased need of legal advice.

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. About 95 % of replies are sent within that deadline and nearly 99 % within 4 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 9 substantial or formal criteria agreed with the Commission:

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

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 2014, the number of enquiries nearly doubled and remained on a high level in the following years. After a slight decrease in 2017, the number of enquiries went up by 1 % in 2018, but nearly exploded in 2019 with a total of 35 064 enquiries of which 28 062 were eligible. This means in increase of 52 % compared to the previous year or five times more than in 2003 or 2004. However, the rate of eligible enquiries sank from 84 % to 80 %.

Enquiries by type of user

Enquiries by nationality

Enquiries by subject area
(% of total enquiries)

The main subject areas stayed the same as in previous years: social security, residence rights, and entry procedures. Enquiries about consumer rights also increased as did enquiries from businesses. These findings show where people’s real problems with the single market lie.

Priorities

Achievements

  • After a slight decrease in 2017, the number of enquiries went up by 1 % in 2018, there was an important increase of 52 % in 2019 with a total of 35 064 enquiries of which 28 062 were eligible.