Appealing rights under EU law
If you have questions about your rights as a European Union (EU) citizen, Europe Direct provides a free telephone and email 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. Information on Europe Direct in Ireland is available at europedirect.ie.
Your Europe Advice
Your Europe Advice is a team of independent legal experts that provides free advice on your rights in the EU. It can clarify the EU law that applies in your case and explain how you can exercise your EU rights. You can submit your query through a web form.
You can also make an appointment for a consultation with a Your Europe Legal Adviser through the European Commission Representation in Ireland.
If you consider that there is a breach of EU law by the Irish authorities, 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.
European Commission Code of Good Behaviour for relations with the public
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 you can submit a complaint to the Commission electronically or by post.
The European Ombudsman
The European Ombudsman examines complaints about maladministration by EU institutions.
EDPS – European Data Protection Supervisor
The EDPS is responsible for monitoring the processing of personal data by EU institutions and bodies. If you feel your rights have been infringed when an EU institution or body processed data relating to you, you can lodge a complaint with the EDPS.
European Parliament Petitions Committee
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. A petition may be written or submitted online.
The European Court of Justice
The European Court of Justice is the EU court to which issues of EU law are referred. Individuals have limited rights of direct access to this court.
The European Court of Human Rights
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.
The SOLVIT service is an EU/EEA service that attempts to resolve problems faced by citizens and businesses caused by the misapplication of internal market law without the need for legal action. SOLVIT is a free, confidential service that is available to anyone throughout the EU who feels they have not been able to avail of their internal market rights because the administration in another member state is misapplying internal market law.
FIN-NET (the Cross-border Out-of-Court Complaints Network for Financial Services) is a mechanism that allows unresolved disputes between you and a financial services provider that is based in another European country to be settled out of court. FIN-NET is a network made up of the existing national complaint schemes for financial services in Europe. The Financial Services Ombudsman is a member of the network.
European Consumer Centres
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 Business, Enterprise and Innovation
Where to apply