The history of the European Consumer Day dates back to 15 March 1999, when the first event of this kind was organised by our Committee in Brussels. This year we meet again, for the 14th time.
The theme of this year's conference, "Sustainable consumption in a time of crisis" is an important, but at the same time very difficult subject. Its importance is obvious, as it is crucial to find a way to meet everyday needs without jeopardising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.
We all know that the crisis we are living in is painful. But it will be nothing compared with the crises we will face if we continue to grow in a way that threatens the life-support systems on which we rely. We need to make sure that tomorrow our children and grand-children will have a better life than ours. We need to prepare a sustainable Europe for them, tomorrow.