Consumers

The Single Market has made it easier for EU consumers and businesses to buy and sell goods and services in their country or cross-border, on- or offline. But this requires trust in the market, modern laws and efficient enforcement. 

The EESC aims to ensure consumers have the rights and protection they need, and to identify and combat unfair and illegal trading practices. We also promote more sustainable consumption patterns, and cooperate with national consumer councils.

The annual European Consumer Day Conference, held since 1999, is the high point of the consumer calendar.

Within the consumer theme, we address a number of specific topics, including:

  • Enforcement of consumers’ rights
  • Consumers and financial services
  • Consumption and poverty
  • Consumer redress
  • Consumer education
  • Sustainable consumption

They are mainly dealt with by the Section for the Single Market, Production and Consumption (INT), where members with specific experience and expertise – some from national consumer councils – ensure that all Europeans’ interests are taken into account in policy proposals and decisions.

 

Events & Activities on Consumers

Publications on Consumers

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  • Published In: 2016
    20 pages
    TEN - Section for Transport, Energy, Infrastructure and the Information Society

    The Section for Transport, Energy, Infrastructure and the Information Society (TEN) is one of EESC's seven specialised bodies whose role is to draw up opinions on a large variety of policy proposals  including mobility, cross-border infrastructure projects, aviation, energy production and distribution, the information society and services of general interest. In order to facilitate progress in these areas, the TEN Section works closely with European civil society organisations and is an active promoter of participation and dialogue in policy-making.

  • Published In: 2016
    102 pages
    The potential effects on consumers of the real lifetime of products display

    This study is based on a simulated shopping tool combined with an on-line questionnaire. 2 917 people took part across four European regions: France, Spain, the Czech Republic and the Benelux countries. The results clearly demonstrate that displaying the lifespan of the products for sale led consumers to change their behaviour when making their purchases. This effect was evident regardless of how the lifespan was displayed.

  • Published In: 2016
    6 pages
    European Consumer Day

    The 18th edition of the European Consumer Day will be held in Brussels on 10 March 2016.

    The objective of the conference is to analyze whether and how the Commission's intention to "better regulate" will affect consumer policy. What should be taken into account by the Commission and other institutions in implementing this new strategy? How to make sure that the consumers will not lose?

  • Published In: 2014
    4 pages
    What development opportunities does the TTIP bring to Europe?

    The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership is the biggest and most ambitious free trade agreement currently being negotiated by the European Union. Economists believe that an agreement with the USA will be advantageous for both the European Union and the USA, and the negative effects of trade liberalisation will be insignificant. This publication is a summary of the debate on "What development opportunities does the TTIP bring to Europe?" that was held in Sopot on 2 October 2014 as part of the European Forum for New Ideas. The participants were discussing which aspects of the US-EU agreement offer the greatest potential for European businesses, what the potential dangers of the TTIP are for European businesses and how to avoid them.

     

     

  • Published In: 2014
    6 pages
    European Consumer Day

    The 16 th edition of the European Consumer Day will be held in Thessaloniki on 14 March 2014.
    Even in times of crisis consumers have their rights. Those rights are legally binding and even a long-lasting crisis cannot be used as an excuse for the lack of enforcement. What challenges lie ahead of policy makers in the field of consumer protection? Are enforcement bodies efficient enough or are consumer rights just a mirage in those difficult times? How to fight overindebtedness and financial exclusion?
     

  • Published In: 2014
    12 pages
    Towards more sustainable consumption: industrial product lifetimes and restoring trust through consumer information

    Planned obsolescence is associated with a form of industrial production that relies on a minimum renewal rate for its products. Although product renewal is necessary, certain abuses need to be addressed. The EESC would like to see a total ban on products with built-in defects designed to end the product's life.

  • Published In: 2013
    4 pages
    European Consumer Day

    The expansion of trade both within the EU and with commercial partners located in other parts of the world has increased the variety products available to European citizens. Protecting health and safety of consumers, who buy and use products in all Member States, is a top priority for the EU.

Opinions on Consumers

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