Free online services
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Help Yourself - Online Services

There are a number of official EU websites that provide direct free advice and help. The following are three websites set up by the European Commission that allow EU citizens to quickly submit an online query on EU-related matters and receive a response direct to your email address in a short time.

Europe Direct (http://europa.eu/europedirect/index_en.htm) is the EU’s information service.   It answers general questions relating to the EU, particularly in areas such as EU rights and opportunities and how to exercise them.  It does not answer specific queries but can point you in the right direction.

Almost all queries are answered within three days with complex queries responded to within three weeks. 

Your Europe Advice (http://ec.europa.eu/citizensrights/front_end/index_en.htm) offers basic legal advice on specific cases involving EU law and can advise you on national laws in relevant EU countries that relate to your situation.  The service will not take up your case as a lawyer would but will clarify how EU law is likely to relate to your case.

Most queries are responded to within one week.

Solvit (http://ec.europa.eu/solvit/site/index_en.htm) is a service that will take up cases of individuals to seek a solution in situations involving a cross-border element where EU law has not been applied correctly by an EU member state.  Applications are made to Solvit online for assessment to see if EU law has been misapplied and therefore whether or not Solvit can help.  If Solvit accepts a case, the Solvit centre in the UK will liaise with the reciprocal centre in the relevant EU member state to try to resolve the matter without the need for you to resort to legal action.

Decisions on whether cases can be taken up by Solvit are usually issued within one week. Where cases are taken up, final responses are generally provided with ten weeks.  If Solvit cannot find a resolution, or you do not agree with the proposed resolution, you are still able to seek redress through the appropriate legal channels.

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