If you have questions about your rights as a European Union (EU) citizen, Europe Direct provides a free telephone and e-mail service that acts as a first point of contact. It offers information on many EU topics and can refer users to the best source of advice at EU, national, regional and local levels.
If you consider that your rights under EU law are not being respected, you may make a formal complaint to the European Commission. The Commission will investigate your complaint and if your complaint is upheld, may ask the Government to ensure that your rights are respected or may take the Government to the European Court of Justice. The Dublin office has a Citizens' Rights Service to which you can write about such problems.
The Commission has adopted a Code of Good Administrative Behaviour for its relations with the public. It is legally binding on the Commission as an institution and on individual staff of the Commission. If you feel the Commission has failed to comply with this code download a complaint form from the Commission website.
The European Ombudsman examines complaints about maladministration by EU institutions.
The European Parliament has a Petitions Committee, which hears complaints from citizens about matters related to the EU. It does not have the power to implement its decisions but it is influential. Write to your MEP or directly to the Parliament.
The European Court of Justice is the EU court. Individuals have limited rights of direct access to this court.
The European Court of Human Rights is the court to which you should complain about breaches of the European Convention on Human Rights. It is to be distinguished from the European Court of Justice, which is an EU institution and to which issues of EU law are referred.
There is an EU-wide out-of-court complaints network for financial services. This network, called FIN-NET, has been designed particularly to facilitate the out-of-court resolution of consumer disputes when the service provider is established in an EU member state other than that where the consumer lives. The network brings together more than 35 different national schemes that either cover financial services in particular (e.g., banking and insurance ombudsman schemes) or handle consumer disputes in general (e.g., consumer complaint boards). Both on- and off-line services are covered.
The Financial Services Ombudsman is a member of the network.
There is a network of single market contact points in all member states of the EU for the purpose of helping citizens if they are having difficulties in enforcing their single market rights, including rights of free movement of people and goods and the right to establish businesses. In Ireland, the contact point is the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation
E-mail: online contact form
Tel:+800 678 91011
1 Avenue de Président Robert Schuman
F-67001 Strasbourg Cedex
Tel:+33 (0)3 88172313
Fax:+33 (0)3 88179062
President of the European Parliament
Tel:+352 43 00 27 072
Fax:+352 43 00 27 072
18 Dawson Street
Tel:+353 (0)1 634 1111
Fax:+353 (0)1 634 1112
Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation
Tel:+353 (0)1 631 3878
Fax:+353 (0)1 631 3853
If you have a question relating to this topic you can contact the Citizens Information Phone Service on 0761 07 4000 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 8pm) or you can visit your local Citizens Information Centre.