SOLVIT is an online network connecting all EU member countries and serves as a platform to resolve any problems relating to your rights that you may experience in the EU. In principle, SOLVIT handles any and all cross-border problems between citizens or companies and national governments.
Every EU member state (as well as Norway, Iceland and Lichtenstein) has its own SOLVIT centre. You can file a complaint at one of these centres and they’ll do their best to resolve the issue, free of charge.
If you’re studying or working in or want to move to a foreign country, it’s possible you may encounter problems at some point. On the one hand, you’re subject to the laws of that country, on the other, as a citizen of the EU, you also have certain rights that may clash with those of the country you’re in. To name a few examples:
■ Your education credentials aren’t recognized
■ You can’t register as a student
■ You can’t get a residence permit, even though you qualify
■ Your driving licence isn’t recognized
■ You’re made to pay too much tax
So how does the process actually work?
First, you file a complaint with the SOLVIT centre in your home country (known as the ‘home’ centre). They’ll check whether you indeed have a problem and if they have all the information they need from you. Your case will be placed in an online databank, which automatically forwards the complaint to the SOLVIT centre in the member state where the problem arose (known as the ‘lead’ centre), meaning the country in which you’re studying, working or want to live. The two centres will then work together to find a solution. Your contact point is the SOLVIT centre in your home country.