Publication to mark the 30th anniversary of the EESC's Consumers and Environment Category
Since it was set up in 1991, the Consumers and Environment Category of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) has had the same objectives, namely to ensure that all EESC opinions take into account the interests of consumer and environmental associations, to enhance dialogue with consumers and environmental campaigners, and to promote opinions that link consumer and environmental issues.
One of the Category’s concerns has been to try to ensure that legislative changes adopt an approach that favours responsible lending; in particular, it has worked to secure common EU legislation to regulate consumer over-indebtedness.
The Category's Members have drawn up a large number of opinions covering every key issue relevant to consumption and the environment. However, Members are proudest of having championed innovative ideas in opinions that won broad support and were followed up on by the European institutions. Difficult as it may be to pick out the best opinions, the following pages give a taste of those Category Members have deemed to be the most meaningful.
One of the Category's acknowledged achievements is to have changed the narrow industry-oriented approach to the circular economy – based on upstream ecodesign and downstream recycling – by introducing consumer behaviour as a key consideration.