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Consultative Group for EU consumers

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Consultative Group for EU consumers

 

SUMMARY OF:

Commission Decision 2009/705/EC – European Consumer Consultative Group

WHAT IS THE AIM OF THE DECISION?

  • It creates the European Consumer Consultative Group – a discussion group on issues related to consumer interests at European Union (EU) level.
  • It repeals and clarifies the provisions of Decision 2003/709/EC. Using the experience acquired, it aims to improve the effectiveness, representativeness and openness of the group.

KEY POINTS

The group may be consulted on all issues related to consumer interests at EU level. It gives opinions and advises the European Commission. It also serves as a platform for the exchange of information between the organisations represented and informs the national organisations about EU activities.

Membership

The group is composed of:

  • 1 representative of national consumer organisations for each EU country;
  • 1 representative from each European consumer organisation (BEUC and ANEC).

There are 2 associate members (Eurocoop and Coface) and 2 observers (Iceland and Norway).

European-level consumer organisations must meet several criteria. They must be non-governmental, non-profit-making and independent of industry, commerce and business.

They must also:

  • have as their primary activity the protection of the health, safety and economic interest of consumers;
  • represent consumers in at least half of the EU countries;
  • be able to provide the Commission with details of their membership, internal rules and sources of funding.

Or:

  • be active in the European standardisation process;
  • have been mandated in at least two-thirds of the EU countries to represent the interests of consumers at EU level.

Appointment and terms of office of members

  • The group is composed of 30 members appointed for 3 years. Their term of office is renewable.
  • Members of the group representing national consumer organisations are appointed following the proposals of candidates sent by the national administrations. The Commission appoints 1 member and 1 alternate per EU country based on a series of criteria:
    • candidates must have a broad competence and experience in EU consumer affairs;
    • candidates who have not previously been members of the group are given priority;
    • the gender balance must be guaranteed at the level of the group as a whole.
  • Members of the group representing EU consumer organisations and an alternate for each member are appointed by the Commission on a proposal from the European consumer organisations.
  • In the interests of debate, the Commission may invite associate members or experts who are members of organisations not represented in the group.

Operation

  • The Commission determines the frequency of the group’s meetings. It chairs the group and provides secretarial services.
  • The group adopts its own rules of procedure on the basis of a proposal made by the Commission.
  • The group may decide to set up temporary sub-groups to examine specific questions. There are currently 2 sub-groups:
    • energy and
    • digital single market.

FROM WHEN DOES THE DECISION APPLY?

It has applied since 14 September 2009.

BACKGROUND

The EU guarantees a high level of protection for consumers, a requirement which it takes into account in preparing its policies and actions. Before making any plans which may have an effect on consumers, the Commission consults the consumer organisations represented within the consumer consultative group. Since 1973, the Commission has been assisted by a consumer consultative group created by consecutive Decisions, the last one being Decision 2009/705/EC.

For more information, see:

MAIN DOCUMENT

Commission Decision 2009/705/EC of 14 September 2009 setting up a European Consumer Consultative Group (OJ L 244, 16.9.2009, pp. 21–24)

RELATED DOCUMENTS

Commission Decision of 18 August 2016 on appointing the members of the European Consumer Consultative Group and their alternates (C/2016/5417) (OJ C 306, 23.8.2016, pp. 4-5)

last update 04.11.2016

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