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From the Brussels office

14 March 16

Recent developments in the EU, including data reform; "Solvit" claim resolution service

Data reform package agreed

After months of intensive negotiations, the Parliament and Council have agreed on the final text of the data reform package. It consists of a regulation and a directive, the latter to govern processing of personal data for law enforcement purposes, and introduces several important changes compared to the current 1995 Directive. It is expected to be formally adopted in March, with a two- year period for implementation.

Can Solvit sort your problem?

Solvit, a little-known service provided by the Commission, aims to help EU citizens and businesses assert their EU rights when these are breached by public authorities in another EU country and the matter has not yet been taken to court, apart from administrative appeals.

The service is mainly online and aims to find solutions in 10 weeks. Claims are submitted to the claimant’s home country’s Solvit centre. If the problem falls within Solvit’s remit, the home centre will prepare the case and send it to the Solvit centre of the country where the issue occurred. That centre will confirm within one week whether it will accept the case; if so, it will try to find a solution together with the responsible public authority.

Typical issues involve recognition of professional qualifications, enforcing pension rights, working abroad, cross-border capital movements and benefits access.

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