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EU Matters.ie - Information about Ireland's membership of the EU


Where can I get general information about the EU?
If you need general information about EU issues;We suggest that you: Contact local EU offices: The European Commission Representation in Ireland at European Union House, 18 Dawson Street, Dublin 2 Tel: (01) 634 1111, E-mail: eu-ie-info-request@ec.europa.eu This office is the Commission’s voice in Ireland. European Parliament Information Office in Ireland 43 Molesworth Street Dublin 2 Tel: 353 (0)1 605 7900 Fax: 353 (0)1 605 7999 Email: epdublin@europarl.europa.eu This office provides information about the work of the European Parliament. Go online to europa.eu or consilium.eu. There are links there to the full range of EU information resources on line Call or write to Europe Direct. There are 8 Europe Direct such centres in Ireland. The centres maintain stocks of relevant EU publications and are available to deal with any queries in relation to EU matters Further information on the activities of the Europe Direct Centres in Ireland is available here Europe Direct also operates a free phone number 00800 6 7 8 9 10 11 which you can call from anywhere in the EU. Their e-mail is europedirect.europa.eu Read about the EU at the EU bookshop website bookshop.europa.eu  
Does the Department of Foreign Affairs provide information about the Lisbon Treaty?
Yes, comprehensive information is available on the following website www.lisbontreaty.ie The dedicated website includes a section on frequently asked questions and access to Lisbon Treaty publications. There is also a "Contact Us" section on the website which you could use to request further information or you can contact the Department by phone at the following Lo Call number, 1850 211 602
What about the food I eat and the water I drink? How does the EU help to make them safer?
The EU has an integrated approach to food safety which aims to ensure a high level of food safety, protect consumers and maintain confidence in EU food supply. As regards water, the EU’s Drinking Water Directive sets quality standards for drinking water and requires EU countries to monitor the standard of drinking water.
How is the EU supporting the use of Renewable Energy?
The EU has set national targets for the use of renewable energy in generating electricity, heating and cooling buildings and fuelling vehicles. The aim is to ensure that by 2020 renewable energy makes up at least 20% of the EU's total energy consumption.
Is the EU working to make sure my children’s toys are safe?
Yes. The EU Toy Safety Directive ensures that toys sold in the EU fulfill the highest safety requirements world-wide, especially relating to the use of chemical substances. For more information, click here.
My airline cancelled my flight. Can I get my money back?
Yes, The EU Air Passenger Rights Regulation came into effect in February 2005 and if your airline cancelled your flight they must offer you a full refund. Depending on when they cancelled it, they might also have to pay you compensation. For more information on Air Passenger Rights, click here
I bought a camera on my holidays last month in Spain, but it isn’t working. Does the shop in Spain have to fix it?
Yes. Under EU rules, you have the same rights as if you had bought the camera in Ireland. The camera must be as described by the seller, fit for usual purpose, and of satisfactory quality and performance. You should first contact the seller and seek to have it repaired. If this is not done, you should seek a refund or replacement. If you are not satisfied with the response from the seller, contact the European Consumer Centre.
Is the EU working to combat climate change and global warming?
Yes. The EU is one of the world leaders in working to combat climate change. Under the terms of the Climate Change and Energy Package, the EU is committed to cutting its greenhouse gas emissions by 20% by 2020. For more information, click here or visit www.change.ie
I bought an MP3 player in Belgium but it doesn’t work and the shop refuses to take my calls. Can the EU help?
Yes, the European Consumer Centre Network can offer advice on consumer rights when buying goods or services in another EU country. They can also directly contact the trader in another European country on your behalf if necessary. Their service is free and confidential. For more information, click here
Has the EU helped to reduce the costs of using my mobile abroad?
Yes. Since June 2007, the EU Roaming Regulation has capped the cost of making and receiving calls when roaming abroad. Calls now cost no more than 43c a minute to make and 19c a minute to receive. From 1 July 2009, the cost of sending and receiving texts is capped too. Sending a text from abroad will cost no more than 11c, while receiving a text will be free. For further information on roaming charges, click here