Navigation path

Left navigation

Additional tools

Mercado interior: SOLVIT y el Servicio de Orientación a los Ciudadanos ayudan a un número creciente de europeos a vivir, trabajar y hacer negocios más allá de las fronteras

European Commission - IP/10/214   01/03/2010

Other available languages: EN FR DE DA NL IT SV PT FI EL CS ET HU LT LV MT PL SK SL RO

IP/10/ 214

Bruselas, 1 de marzo de 2010

Mercado interior: SOLVIT y el Servicio de Orientación a los Ciudadanos ayudan a un número creciente de europeos a vivir, trabajar y hacer negocios más allá de las fronteras

Un número cada vez mayor de europeos se dirige a los servicios de asesoramiento y ayuda de la UE para encontrar respuestas concretas y soluciones rápidas a cuestiones y problemas que se les presentan en el mercado interior. Ésta es la conclusión común de los informes anuales emitidos hoy por la Comisión Europea sobre SOLVIT y el Servicio de Orientación a los Ciudadanos (SOC), dos servicios de asistencia gratuitos para las empresas y los ciudadanos europeos dirigidos a ayudarles a aprovechar al máximo sus derechos en el mercado interior. SOLVIT se ha convertido en una alternativa complementaria y práctica a los procedimientos de infracción formales y contribuye a que los ciudadanos y las empresas puedan ocupar el lugar central que les corresponde en el mercado interior.

El Comisario de Mercado Interior y Servicios, Michel Barnier, ha declarado que « e l mercado interior no es una criatura burocrática, sino que persigue facilitar la vida a los ciudadanos y ayudar a las empresas a hacer negocios en Europa. Sin embargo, para aprovechar verdaderamente el mercado interior, los ciudadanos y las empresas deben poder ejercer sus derechos en la práctica. SOLVIT y el Servicio de Orientación a los Ciudadanos son dos herramientas imprescindibles para permitir a los europeos comprender, utilizar y defender sus derechos comunitarios con más eficacia.».

SOLVIT

Al asumir un número mayor de asuntos , SOLVIT ha contribuido claramente a un mejor funcionamiento del mercado interior. En 2009, SOLVIT ayudó al número sin precedentes de 1 500 ciudadanos y empresas con dificultades para hacer reconocer sus derechos en relación con el mercado interior por parte de las Administraciones públicas nacionales, lo que supone un aumento del 54 % respecto al año anterior. Los temas que han solido plantear problemas han sido los derechos de libre establecimiento, la seguridad social y el reconocimiento de las cualificaciones profesionales. Se solucionó con éxito un 86 % de los asuntos, y el plazo medio para hacerlo fue de 59 días, lo que se ajusta claramente al plazo de diez semanas que SOLVIT mismo se ha impuesto para tramitar cada asunto.

Desde 2007, el número de asuntos sometidos a SOLVIT ha sido mayor que el número de denuncias oficiales y asuntos de infracción en el ámbito del mercado interior. Los breves plazos dentro de los cuales actúa SOLVIT y su alto índice de éxito hacen de este servicio una alternativa eficaz a los procedimientos de infracción, lo que constituye una buena noticia para los ciudadanos y las empresas, que necesitan que sus problemas se resuelvan con rapidez.

A cerca de SOLVIT : la Comisión y los Estados miembros crearon la red SOLVIT en 2002 para ayudar a los ciudadanos y a las empresas a resolver los problemas prácticos derivados de la aplicación incorrecta del Derecho de la UE por parte de las Administraciones nacionales. SOLVIT ofrece soluciones prácticas a los denunciantes en un plazo de diez semanas. SOLVIT es un servicio gratuito y fácil de utilizar. Los denunciantes pueden quejarse mediante un impreso en línea en su propia lengua o ponerse en contacto con su centro nacional SOLVIT.

Servicio de Orientación a los Ciudadanos (SOC)

El Servicio de Orientación a los Ciudadanos proporcionó asesoramiento jurídico gratuito y práctico en el plazo de tres días hábiles a unos 12 000 ciudadanos en 2009, esto es, un 8,5 % más que el año anterior. La mayoría de las preguntas recibidas se referían a la seguridad social, al derecho de libre establecimiento, al trabajo, a los procedimientos de entrada, a los vehículos de motor y a los impuestos. En 2009, el servicio proporcionado por SOC se amplió para incluir un servicio de asesoramiento directo en persona en tres capitales (Dublín, Berlín y Madrid), aumentando así la gama de servicios de asistencia disponibles para ayudar a los ciudadanos de la UE a aprovechar las oportunidades del mercado interior.

A cerca del SOC : este servicio proporciona un asesoramiento gratuito y personalizado a los ciudadanos de la UE sobre los problemas que se les presentan a la hora de ejercer sus derechos relacionados con el mercado interior en otro país de la UE, tales como los referentes a la obtención de un permiso de residencia, la cobertura de la seguridad social o el reconocimiento de una cualificación. Los ciudadanos pueden formular las preguntas en su propia lengua y en el plazo de tres días laborables reciben de un asesor jurídico tanto una respuesta en el mismo idioma como una orientación sobre dónde encontrar más ayuda.

Próximas etapas

Aprovech ando los éxitos de SOLVIT y del SOC, la Comisión se compromete a seguir invirtiendo en mejor información, orientación y resolución de problemas en beneficio de los ciudadanos y las empresas. En 2009, SOLVIT y el SOC se aproximaron entre sí para ofrecer una serie más integrada de servicios a los ciudadanos. Está en curso la estrecha colaboración con otros servicios con el objetivo final de prestar una serie de servicios de alta calidad y en una «ventanilla única», con lo que los ciudadanos y las empresas podrán conocer, entender y defender mejor sus derechos en la UE.

Información complementaria:

SOLVIT: http://ec.europa.eu/solvit

Servicio de Orientación a los Ciudadanos : http://ec.europa.eu/citizensrights/

Annex 1 EXAMPLES OF CASES FROM CITIZEN SIGNPOST SERVICE

Cars and driving

Question: If I (Bulgarian) move to the Netherlands, do I need to exchange my Bulgarian driving licence for a Dutch one? Do I need to register my car there if my stay is only temporary and all my documents are Bulgarian?

Reply: You can use your Bulgarian driver’s licence in the Netherlands, even if you decide to stay there. According to Directive 91/439/EEC, driving licences issued by one Member State must be recognised by others. So the Dutch authorities have to recognise your Bulgarian driver’s licence. You can exchange that driver’s licence for a Dutch one, but are not obliged to do so.

Further, if you stay in the Netherlands for less than 6 months, you do not need to register your car. If you intend to stay for a longer period however, you have to register it there within the first 6 months of your arrival.

Social security and welfare benefits

Question: I am French and I worked for 5 years in Luxembourg during my career. What will happen when I retire, who should I contact and where should I submit my request to receive pension benefits? Is there an automatic coordination between the French and Luxembourg pension authorities?

Reply: when you retire, you should submit your request to receive pension benefits with the French authorities. These authorities will then contact the pension authorities of the countries where you have worked (in your case, Luxembourg), to calculate your pension rights. In doing so, they must take account of all rights you acquired abroad. This follows from Regulation No. 1408/71 of June 14, 1971.

Residence rights for non-EU family members of EU citizens

Question: I am a British Citizen living in Brazil since I was 4 years old. I am planning to move back to Europe (France). Will my wife, a non-European citizen, obtain automatic residence right? Will she be covered by the local health system?

Reply: Your wife will be entitled to reside in France. This follows from Directive 2004/38 (the Citizenship Directive). Your wife will need a visa to enter the EU and must apply for a residence card within three months after her arrival in France.  

Further, if you will be working in France, your wife will be entitled to local healthcare, under the same conditions as apply to spouses of French citizens 

Annex 2 SUCCESS STORIES FROM SOLVIT 1

Residence rights and free movement of persons



EU citizens enjoy Cyprus sun

A British couple legally resident in Cyprus applied for permanent residence status. Almost a year later, the authorities informed the couple that they must first get a 3-month residence permit, to prove the continuity of their stay. SOLVIT notified the authorities that this was illegal under EU law and that the couple was entitled to permanent residence as they had been legally resident in Cyprus for over five years. Following this intervention, the competent authority issued the requisite documents to the complainants, and subsequently changed its policy on accepting applications for permanent residence.

Solved within 10 weeks

Kenyan wife of Liechtenstein citizen obtains residence papers in the UK

The Kenyan wife of a Liechtenstein national living in the United Kingdom had to wait more than ten months for a residence permit. It was finally issued within a few weeks following SOLVIT intervention.

Solved within 6 weeks

SOLVIT enables Brazilian wife of Belgian citizen to travel in Europe

A Brazilian woman living in the United Kingdom (married to a Belgian citizen) was prevented from travelling to France for urgent medical reasons because the UK authorities exceeded the 6-month limit under EU law for renewing her UK residence permit. SOLVIT contacted the UK Home Office, and the documents were issued rapidly.

Solved within 4 weeks



SOLVIT helps Austrian artist register as resident in Luxembourg

An Austrian artist wished to register as a resident in Luxembourg. He provided all the necessary papers to the local authorities, who refused to register him unless he provided a statement of support by a person resident in Luxembourg. SOLVIT pointed out that this additional requirement could not be imposed on an EU citizen. The local authority revised its position and took all necessary steps to swiftly register the Austrian citizen.

Solved within one week

Social security



SOLVIT assists Hungarian jobseeker in Belgium

After giving birth to two children in Belgium while on unemployment benefit (having previously worked in Belgium), a Hungarian woman found she was no longer eligible for benefits as her work permit had expired and she could not therefore meet the requirement of actively seeking employment. SOLVIT resolved this with the Belgian authorities, and the woman was quickly recognised as an active jobseeker.

Solved within 9 weeks

Bulgarian citizen granted full pension rights by Greece

A Bulgarian citizen who had worked in both Bulgaria and Greece was denied part of his pension rights by the Greek authorities. SOLVIT clarified the issue with the pension authorities in both countries and enabled the claimant to receive his pension from the Greek institution with full benefits.

Solved within 6 weeks





German citizen has medical check-ups in Spain

A German living in Spain was refused reimbursement for medical check-ups as her German health insurance papers were rejected by the Spanish authorities. After action by SOLVIT, the woman was told which documents she needed, and succeeded in having her health insurance recognised.

Solved with 4 weeks

SOLVIT helps family to receive child benefits in Lithuania

The Lithuanian authorities refused to pay child benefits for a boy living with his mother in Lithuania while his father lived in Germany. The German administration paid half. Thanks to the intervention of SOLVIT, the Lithuanian authorities revised its decision retroactively.

Solved within 11 weeks

PROFESSIONAL qualifications

SOLVIT enables Estonian doctor to work in Spain

An Estonian doctor was prevented from working in Spain for ten months due to a delay in recognising her qualifications. Under EU law, the maximum time for this procedure is three months. With the help of SOLVIT, the proceedings were speeded up, and the Estonian doctor is now able to work in Spain.

Solved within 4 weeks

SOLVIT promotes Finnish smiles in Spain

A Finnish citizen wished to have his professional qualification as a dentist recognised in Spain. Having waited some considerable time for a decision from the Spanish Ministry of Education (more than the 3-month deadline provided for in EU legislation), he contacted SOLVIT for help. As a result of SOLVIT intervention, the Spanish Ministry sent the applicant the credentials with his professional recognition.

Solved within 10 weeks

SOLVIT abolishes language test for EU carpenters in Sweden

A Polish carpenter working in Sweden was told that, to get full pay as a skilled carpenter, he had to obtain a Swedish proficiency certificate by proving he had 10  000 hours work experience as a carpenter in Sweden and by taking a written test in Swedish. SOLVIT helped the carpenter get his certificate, and also convinced the authorities to abolish the written language test.

Solved within 12 weeks



Irish engineer’s qualifications recognised in Poland

A Polish national who acquired his engineering qualifications in Ireland was finding it hard to get these qualifications recognised by the Polish authority, which insisted that he should meet additional requirements, due to the two countries having different systems. Following SOLVIT intervention, the Polish authorities agreed to recognise the engineer’s qualifications without any further requirements.

Solved within 4 weeks

Cypriot with a Greek qualification can register as a doctor back home

A Cypriot who acquired a medical degree in Greece had his application to be registered at the Cypriot Medical Registry refused, although he had all the qualifications he needed for this under EU law. After action by SOLVIT, the Cypriot authorities swiftly registered the man as a doctor.

Solved within 12 weeks

Free movement of GOODS, SERVICES, Payments and TAXATION

Hungarian wood gets a coat of Austrian wood preservative

An Austrian company was prevented from marketing wood preservative in Hungary because it had no representative in that country and because the local authorities insisted that this was a requirement. SOLVIT told the Hungarian authorities that all that was needed was an office in the European Union, and the imports were allowed through.

Solved within 2 days





SOLVIT enables sale of portable pool cleaners in France

A Swedish manufacturer of mobile cleaning pumps for public swimming pools was denied access to the French market. Although their machines complied with a European standard - max. 12V AC when people are in the pool - the French rules said the maximum voltage applied whether swimmers were in the pool or not. SOLVIT found that the French rules only covered immovable products. Since the company’s machines are portable and not to be used while people are in the pool, the manufacturer was given the go-ahead to sell them in France.

Solved within 15 weeks

Portuguese company gets VAT refund on deliveries to Polish supermarkets

A Portuguese company supplying retail goods to shops in Poland had to wait several months for a VAT refund. Once SOLVIT had contacted the Polish authorities, the refund was paid in two weeks.

Solved within 2 weeks



Driving licences and vehicle registration

Cyprus issues new driving licence to German citizen

A German who used to live in Liechtenstein before moving to Cyprus had his driving licence stolen. The Cypriot authorities refused to issue a new one because the categories listed in the old licence were not recognised in Cyprus and because Liechtenstein was not a member of the EU. Thanks to action by SOLVIT, the authorities reconsidered the case and issued a new licence after all.

Solved within 4 weeks



Belgian trucker receives unlimited driving licence in Spain

When a Belgian trucker living in Spain had his Belgian driving licence converted into a Spanish one, he was surprised to see that the new one barred him for a year from driving more than 50 km from his point of departure. Thanks to SOLVIT’s intervention, the Spanish authorities soon found there was an error in the man’s file and removed the restriction from his licence.

Solved within 8 weeks

Italian driving licence renewed thanks to SOLVIT

An Italian working in Cyprus applied for a new driving licence. The Cypriot authorities asked their Italian counterparts to confirm the data on his licence, as required by EU law. There was no response. SOLVIT stepped in, and soon after the Italian authorities provided the requested confirmation and the man received his new licence.

Solved within 6 weeks

SOLVIT facilitates trailer import to Bulgaria

A Dutch national was prevented from importing a trailer into Bulgaria. As trailers lighter than 750 kg do not have to be registered in the Netherlands, the importer had no registration document — so the Bulgarian authorities refused to register the trailer in their country. SOLVIT helped the importer pass the Bulgarian roadworthiness test he needed to get the trailer registered there.

Solved within 13 weeks



Non-Discrimination



SOLVIT stops discrimination against Bulgarian nationals working abroad

A Bulgarian couple who were living and working abroad were barred from registering their daughter in a Bulgarian kindergarten because they were not covered by Bulgarian social security. After SOLVIT explained to the Bulgarian authorities that, under EU law, they were not allowed to penalise their own citizens for exercising their right to work in other EU countries, the family was able to enrol their daughter after all.

Solved within 6 weeks

SOLVIT gets British child to school in Bulgaria

A UK citizen residing in Bulgaria applied for a place at a local school for her daughter and was asked to pay a school fee of € 900, which Bulgarian nationals are not subject to. Following SOLVIT intervention, the school reconsidered its decision and recognised the child's right to free schooling.

Solved within 10 weeks

SOLVIT lifts excess charges for Norwegian vessel in UK harbour

A Norwegian ship carrying fertiliser from Norway to Northern Ireland was charged a higher fee than ships from EU countries. As Norway belongs to the European Economic Area (EEA), its vessels should be treated the same as those from any EU country. SOLVIT managed to persuade the harbour authorities to change their tariffs accordingly.

Solved within 14 weeks



1 :

Success stories for all Member States and Norway, Liechtenstein and Iceland are available in the annex of the SOLVIT 2009 annual report


Side Bar

My account

Manage your searches and email notifications


Help us improve our website