The Solvit network helps citizens and businesses with the enforcement and observance of the rights from which they benefit under EU law. In the event of a decision by a public authority in breach of EU law, the citizen or business can refer the case to the Solvit network, which assesses its admissibility and tries to find a solution compliant with EU law. Solvit can help with all areas of EU law: European citizens’ visa and residence rights, social security rights, recognition of professional qualifications, driving licence exchanges, market access and mutual recognition.
The United Kingdom left the European Union on 31 January 2020. In accordance with the withdrawal agreement, the United Kingdom has entered into a transition period due to end on 31 December 2020, excepting an extension decided on by 1 July 2020.
During this transition period, British citizens will continue to benefit from all their rights under EU law. Consequently, the Solvit centres will continue to handle all complaints submitted by British citizens, with one restriction: given that British citizens lost their right to vote and stand in local elections in the Member States and in European Parliament elections on 1 February 2020, it is no longer within the remit of the Solvit centres to handle complaints concerning their electoral rights.
European citizens will also continue to benefit from their rights under EU law when they visit or stay in the United Kingdom during this transition period. Complaints submitted against UK authorities by EU citizens or against EU authorities by British citizens on their return to the United Kingdom will continue to be handled by the UK Solvit centre.
The withdrawal agreement between the European Union and the United Kingdom provides for the protection of the rights of EU citizens living or working in the United Kingdom and British citizens living or working in the EU during the transition period. These individuals are entitled to a new residence permit with certain associated rights. These permits are based on the principles of the right of residence under European Directive 2004/38/EC. Consequently, the Solvit centres have the remit to handle complaints made by British citizens regarding applications for the residence permits provided for by the withdrawal agreement. Likewise, the British Solvit centre continues to have the authority to handle complaints from EU citizens regarding the granting of settled status introduced in the United Kingdom.
Following the transition period, individuals with a case being handled by the Solvit network will be informed in due time of their case handling arrangements by the Solvit network.