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Civil and commercial matters

Overview of civil and commercial law remit of the EU.

Taking legal action in another EU country

EU citizens might need to take legal action against a person, a trader or a company in another EU country. An example of a complaint could be

  • a product was purchased online from another country, but it never arrived
  • a computer bought while abroad is found not to work
  • a renovation company hired to work on a holiday home didn't do a good job

These are just some examples of situations where taking legal action might be an option. 

Practical information on EU and national law and procedures has been made available by the European Judicial Network in civil and commercial matters

Alternative and online dispute resolution

Before taking a case to court, you could try to resolve disputes using Alternative and online dispute resolution (ADR/ODR)

If this fails, you may choose to start legal proceedings. You will need to know the name and address of the person you want to sue and, if possible, if that person has assets to pay your claim.

As a consumer looking for more information on consumer rights within the EU, you can also look at the website of the European consumer centres network