The "Citizens First" initiative, launched by the European institutions in November 1996, has been used by over 450,000 people in the three months since its launch. The initiative, providing telephone helplines and World Wide Web information, aims to inform European citizens of their opportunities within the European Single Market. The service provides rapid information, in the caller's own language, on topics relating to living, working or studying in another Member State. The service answers queries on subjects such as social security, taxation, recognition of qualifications, rights of residence, and registration of vehicles. In some cases the service acts by signposting the caller to the appropriate national authority or agency, providing a direct contact point competent to answer the question. The service has seen particularly high responses from Italy, Spain, France and Germany. Ireland and Spain have the highest response rates per household. In total, more than 200,000 people have telephoned the service, and over 250,000 have accessed the "Citizens First" WWW site, downloading some 1.7 million documents.
Policy making and guidelines
17 September 1997