The European Consumer Agenda is the new strategy for EU consumer policy in line with EU's growth strategy, Europe 2020.
Regarding consumer empowerment, the main objectives of the Agenda are:
- To Improve information and raise awareness of consumer rights and interests
- To build knowledge and capacity for more effective consumer participation in the market
In its staff working document Knowledge-enhancing aspects of consumer empowerment - Commission working document (2012-2014) the Commission has outlined its new approaches towards consumer information and consumer education, and the actions planned for 2012-2014.
The focus of work in these areas is moving towards actions with a higher EU added-value and better coordination and synergies with national efforts, in line with the results of an evaluation undertaken in 2011 and with the results of behavioural economics research and market studies.
The Consumer Classroom
To improve consumer education of 12-18 year olds in schools across the EU, an Interactive Community site for teachers - the Consumer Classroom - was launched on 15th March 2013.
The site provides a platform for teachers to collaborate, lesson building tools and a database of ready to use teaching resources. It replaces the information site www.dolceta.eu
The Europa Diary site offers concise information for secondary school students and teachers about the EU institutions and relevant issues, such as health and consumer protection, studying abroad, the environment, etc. in a user-friendly format.
The Europa Diary content has, as of September 2012, been made available on-line, as the effectiveness and cost-efficiency of the print version were questioned by the above evaluation.
The on-line version will reach a wider audience and will be regularly update to include multi-media and interactive materials as requested by teachers. It will also help to save money, paper and the environment.
Master Degree in Consumer Policy
To stimulate university- level education in consumer policy, the Commission has given start-up grants to set up Masters degree programmes. More information can be found at http://www.mca.wi.tum.de/.