A short video clip highlighting the main points raised during the EESC's European Consumer Day conference 2016.
Every year since 1999 the European Economic and Social Committee has organised an event to mark Consumer Day. This event provides a forum where representatives of EU institutions, national governments and civil society organisations can exchange their views on various issues related to consumer affairs.
Every year we choose a different theme, such as consumer rights, sustainable consumption, product safety and the sharing economy.
This year's edition, held in Brussels on the 10th of March, focused on Better Regulation for Consumers.
It was particularly timely in view of the REFIT exercise being carried out by the Commission to evaluate current laws directly affecting consumers.
We were joined by speakers from the institutions and representatives of consumers and business. Important questions were raised, such as:
Why is it a Commission priority to regulate better and what does it mean in practice for consumers? Do the benefits outweigh the burden? What is the role of public consultation? What needs improving and what is best left alone?
Engaging in a lively debate with the 200 people in the audience we also asked: Who is watching whom in the context of Better Regulation? From this exchange we learned that both European Business and the Better Regulation Watchdog are closely monitoring the institutions and lobbying hard to get the best deal for consumers. And business.
This is why we organise our European Consumer Day event. This is why we are here: to represent civil society's interests, to ask the right questions. Sometimes we get an answer. Sometimes we don't. Better to have raised the question than never to have asked at all.
We hope you enjoyed the conference and we certainly hope you'll join us for a fresh consumer debate next year.