What to do when your flight to Poland is cancelled? When the handbag you bought in Italy is damaged? When you are caught in a subscription trap? Since its creation, the European Consumer Centres Network (ECC-Net) has assisted more than one million consumers with issues like these. In the context of COVID-19 outbreak alone, over 90,000 consumers turned to ECC-Net for help. Today, the Network celebrates its 15th anniversary.
An online event with European Commissioner Didier Reynders will be an opportunity to reflect on the achievements of the European consumer rights movement and discuss the way forward for effective consumer protection in Europe. The celebration occurs against the backdrop of a newly adopted Consumer Agenda, which outlines the Commission priorities in consumer policy for the coming five years. The event is a unique gathering of key stakeholders in the field bringing together senior officials from the European Commission, consumer representatives, enforcement authorities, young journalists, academics and more.
On Twitter, the network will tweet live under #15yearsECCNet.
“An essential feature for the Union’s consumer cooperation”
Commissioner Didier Reynders wishes ECC-Net a happy birthday by saying: “I am convinced that the European Consumer Centres Network with its practical support to consumers will remain in the future an essential feature of the Union’s consumer cooperation”.
Petra de Sutter, former IMCO chair and current Deputy Prime Minister of Belgium, adds: “I can‘t help but support the work that the centres undertake on a daily basis. We as legislators can make as many regulations as we want to protect consumers. Nevertheless, consumers have to be aware of the existence of this protection”.
Website launch, report on 15 years of milestones and a look into the future
On the 21st of November, the Network launches its website www.eccnet.eu where a report on 15 years of milestones and ECC Net achievements will be available. A chapter dedicated to the future sets out a vision for the network offering improved service to consumers in a digitalised world and striving to support and promote sustainable consumption.
“With this anniversary, ECC-Net comes of age as an established, respected and essential player in European consumer protection. We look forward to the next one million European consumers we will assist”, says Bianca Schulz, director of European Consumer Centre France.
The ECC-Net is committed to working closely with stakeholders and the business sector, as part of an integrated consumer protection team. It will continue to highlight the lived experiences and expressed needs of consumers in the context of policymaking, implementation and enforcement. The network will also work proactively on the European Green Deal and the Digital Agenda by investing in awareness-raising campaigns.
Each EU country as well as Iceland, Norway and the United Kingdom has a European Consumer Centre and together they form ECC-Net. ECC-Net informs consumers in Europe about their rights and provides free help with cross-border problems.