The Consumer Classroom team attended the EU Consumer Summit on last April 1 st and 2 nd . This event was of major interest to the project since it was focused on “European Consumers in the Digital Era”.
Close to 500 people attended the Summit, among them EU institutions members and representatives, National Ministries, International organizations, European and National consumer organizations, National authorities for consumer protection, European federations, business bodies and NGOs.
Neven Mimica, the Commissioner for Consumer Policy, highlighted the importance to discuss the impact of digital revolution for consumers. Such thematic had already been debated in 2009: 5 years later the digital era is an even bigger challenge since it has deeply changed our daily lives and behaviours. The “information jungle” gave birth to numerous comparative reviews operators and 2 third of consumers’ complaints are linked to online shopping.
In order to put the consumer in the centre, the Commissioner explained that the new Consumer Rights Directive (2011/83/UE) will enter into force in June 2014 (read our article here ) and that a European platform on settlement of consumer online shopping disputes will be launched in 2016. The European Commission is also supporting the creation of a Single Market for Communication and for Digital Content, as well as cooperation and collaboration with all the shareholders especially regarding the challenge of data protection.
The 6 seminars generated very fruitful discussions and exchanges of best practices. Awareness-raising and consumer education efforts were part of each seminar’s final recommendations.
Detailed presentations and pictures of the event here