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The principles governing SOLVIT, the problem-solving network for citizens and business

The SOLVIT network seeks to find solutions to complaints from EU citizens and businesses who suspect their EU rights have been breached by a public authority.


Commission Recommendation 2013/461/EU of 17 September 2013 on the principles governing SOLVIT. OJ L 249 of 19.9.2013.


The Commission recommendation sets out the rules for cooperation between the SOLVIT centres.

All EU Member States plus Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein have created a national SOLVIT centre, in most cases within their prime minister's office or ministry of foreign or economic affairs.

These centres cooperate directly via an online database to solve problems submitted by citizens and businesses pragmatically and within 10 weeks. The Commission is responsible for facilitating and coordinating the SOLVIT network.

The service is free of charge and the solutions are not binding as it is an informal network.

For SOLVIT to intervene there needs to be:

  • a breach of EU law,
  • by a public authority,
  • in a cross-border situation.

The applicant should not have started formal proceedings, as then it is no longer possible to find an informal solution to the problem.

SOLVIT deals with problems in areas such as social security, residence rights, free movement of services and goods, recognition of professional qualifications, taxation and vehicle registration.

The following is a brief summary of some examples of the services that the recommendation suggests that SOLVIT centres should offer (NB: readers wanting a full understanding of the principles should read the full recommendation).

  • SOLVIT centres should be available by telephone or e-mail and should reply promptly to queries.
  • Applicants should receive a first reaction to their problem within 1 week.
  • Within 1 month of a first assessment and provided their file is complete, applicants should receive a confirmation of whether their case has been opened as a SOLVIT case.
  • When a problem cannot be taken up as a SOLVIT case, applicants should be given reasons and advised of another possible course of action that might help them overcome the problem.
  • Within 10 weeks from the date of opening of the case, the applicant should receive a solution to his/her problem, which may include a clarification of the relevant EU law.

Visibility of the SOLVIT network

The recommendation suggests that EU countries should ensure that user-friendly information and easy access to the SOLVIT services is available, in particular on all relevant websites of the public administration. It also urges EU countries to carry out activities to raise awareness about SOLVIT.



Entry into force

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Recommendation 2013/461/EU



OJ L 249 of 19.9.2013

Last updated: 22.04.2014