Euro info, in any language, free of charge

Fact of the day: At last the forces of public relations are intensifying efforts to inform every citizen about EU accession. Any question or query can now be answered using a simple to use and free service.

The European Commission is on Monday opening the ‘Europe Direct’ service in Cyprus, making it the first country from the 10 acceding states to have access to the comprehensive pan-European information provider.

The Commission-funded service was set up in May 2000 with the sole task of providing easy access to information for European citizens with all sorts of queries about EU membership.

Europe Direct is a much-needed free service, which gives citizens the chance to find out in their own language, what is going on in Europe, how and why.
From Monday, Cypriots can call this number, 00800 67891011, from anywhere in the EU, using a landline or mobile and ask a trained officer for information on the EU in the official language of your choice… free of charge.

Commission spokesman Antonis Papacostas said people could get information on a wide range of issues including: working in another member state, diploma recognition, the validity of a driving licence, the single market, citizen’s rights, the function of the European Parliament and any other query on the EU.

There are three ways to use the service: send questions via email at; get web assistance to guide you through the huge and complex EU website or dial the same number throughout the EU, 00800 67891011, and get information in your own language free of charge. It can take up to three days to get an answer for more complicated or specific queries.

The service currently receives over 6,000 questions a month. People will either get a direct response or be referred to a more appropriate source. Cyprus was the first of the new states to get the service because of its excellent telecommunications networks, said Papacostas.

The service will also be able to provide information on the elections for the European Parliament this June. Citizens can call the free line anytime from Monday to Friday, 9am-6.30pm Central European Time. It goes without saying (although it will be said), over 450 million Europeans will also have access to the service, especially if they wish to learn more about our tiny island.

Cypriot residents have the added option of calling the European Institute in Nicosia, free of charge on 8000 1112 for questions on Cyprus and the EU.
On February 7-8, kiosks will be set up in Eleftheria Square in Nicosia to give out information pamphlets, while talks are currently under way with the Nicosia municipality to provide electronic kiosks in the capital with internet access to Europe Direct.

And to top it all, the Press and Information Office has published 35,000 copies of a new booklet called Cyprus in a Europe of Citizens: Rights and Obligations. The booklet will be available from the PIO offices.