The 2017 edition of European Consumer Day was held in Malta on 21 March. The theme, The Digital Single Market: How does it benefit consumers? underlined the need for Europe to have a fully functional Digital Single Market to ensure that European citizens benefit from the advantages of the digital era safely and on an equal footing. However, many of the standards which are fully accepted in the real world are still ignored when consumers, traders and providers interact in the virtual world. What are the expected impacts on our everyday lives in the very near future? Are we aware of the pitfalls and risks when sharing our data online or feeding big data? How will Artificial Intelligence change production and consumption? How can digital technology effectively support the transition towards a more sustainable economy? How does a digitally-supported collaborative economy tie in with consumers' rights as we know them? In addressing these questions, the debate revealed that there is plenty of room for improvement in terms of consumer protection and access to the digital world all over Europe.
This report gathers the main points raised by the speakers and participants, offering an overview of consumer issues in Europe's Digital Single Market.
The EESC thanks all the conference delegates for their enthusiastic participation and looks forward to welcoming them to the next European Consumer Day in March 2018.
Read the full report in pdf below.