Struggling With EU Red Tape? Try the 'Your Europe' Advice Service and SOLVIT

There’s no doubt that a move abroad can feel laced with romance. The excitement of discovering a new culture, encountering new people, pursuing new experiences and the wealth of opportunities and adventures presented when you start afresh – who knows what might be waiting around the corner?
Unfortunately, the great dream of moving abroad can bring you back down to earth with a colossal thump when you come face-to-face with the practicalities to consider – not just the physical hurdles of relocating your possessions abroad but the reams of necessary paperwork to complete in order to integrate fully into your chosen country. It’s not uncommon for the romance to fade for expats faced with what can feel like mind-boggling moments of bureaucracy. Be prepared to encounter a few hair-tearing moments, and practise deep breathing and counting slowly to ten… It might be your only way to survive.
But is there another way? The Telegraph recently featured the story of a British woman settling into a new life in France. She found that even something as apparently simple as replacing her driving license left her tied up in unnecessary red tape – but luckily discovered a nifty agency that helped save her and bypass the headache.
Her saviour came in the form of Your Europe Advice. This service was set up by the EU specifically to deliver advice to the public, straight from the capable minds of legal professionals from the European Citizen Action Service (ECAS). This group of lawyers are well versed in all official EU languages (so no communication breakdowns here) and have a firm grasp of both EU and national laws in all the EU countries. The advice is prompt and the price is certainly right, i.e. FREE. Issues they frequently assist expats with include:
• Taxation
• Recognition of professional qualifications
• Visas and residence rights
• Family benefits
• Pension rights
• Health insurance
• Driving licenses and vehicles
• Access to education
• Unemployment benefits
Settling into a new country, though rich in rewards, requires a certain amount of work and unavoidable stress – and bureaucracy and seemingly unfair rules can make this process a lot harder than it needs to be. If you find some bureaucracy is making it difficult for you to live, work and get on with your day-to-day life, you can not only receive help from Your Europe Advice but also file a complaint with SOLVIT, the network of EU civil servants closely affiliated with the advice service.
The SOLVIT website promises help for expats to overcome the seemingly arbitrary obstacles imposed by national authorities. The best way to contact the organisation is through their website, as SOLVIT is predominantly an online service aiming to find a solution to your problem within 10 weeks. It may sound like a bit of a wait but considering the service deals with over a thousand cases every year and boasts a 90 percent success rate, it’s assistance that might well be worth waiting for.
If you are considering moving to Europe, Cadogan Tate will assist you every step of the way – from your first enquiry to unpacking at your new home, we are here to help and advise you. For more details about Cadogan Tate’s specialist international removals services from London, click here.
Information correct at time of publication.