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European Consumer Diary
Actions in favour of consumer organisations
Specific projects in support of consumer policy objectives
Joint enforcement actions in the product safety area
Expanding networks: RAPEX and Product Safety Network
Expanding networks: European Consumer Centres Network, ECCs (information and cross-border problems)
Information campaigns on consumer rights
Transition Facility 2004-2006 (Directorate General for Enlargement)
European consumer organisations

European Consumer Diary

  • The Diary 2006/2007 has been translated and adapted for all new Member States.


Actions in favour of consumer organisations

  • Since May 2004, the new Member States have been integrated in the training courses for personnel of consumer organisations in Management, Lobbying and European Consumer Law

  • The training courses have been positively evaluated by the participating consumer organisations, and fulfil a particular need in improving the capacity and skills of staff of associations in the new Member States.

  • Representatives from the new Member States have all participated in the 2004 and 2005 courses so far and they represent more than 60% of the trainees (see document giving participants per country) PDF. This tendency will probably continue in the future.

  • TAIEX, in close cooperation with Directorate General for Health and Consumer Protection (DG SANCO) and BEUC, organised a multi-country seminar in Brussels on 31 January-1 February 2006. The aim of this event was to increase the role of consumer associations in monitoring the implementation of the consumer acquis, to foster better co-operation between the 15 and the 10 new Member States and the acceding and candidate countries, and to help national administrations responsible for consumer affairs and consumer organisations to learn from each other.


Specific projects in support of consumer policy objectives

  • In 2005, four proposals were retained (see document PDF) One of these four proposals was presented by a consumer organisation of a new Member State (Slovenia). However, it is important to note that organisations from all new Member States (except Estonia) and Romania are represented among the partners in the approved projects.

    For the period 2004-2007, the Commission has proposed to give priority to projects involving consumer organisations from the new Member States. In 2005, eligible projects for a Community contribution in excess of 50% and up to 75% had to:
    • be proposed by consumer organisations from the new Member States,
    • involve, as partners, consumer organisations from at least three other Member States, and
    • aim at speeding up the effective application of the acquis communautaire on consumer protection in the new Member States.

  • Contributions in kind (voluntary unpaid work) were accepted for organisations established in the new Member States/acceding countries under the 2005 call for proposals.

  • Training on submission of projects has been provided on various occasions (with BEUC, on the occasion of the annual General Assembly of consumer organisations, in the framework of training modules for staff of consumer organisations).

Joint enforcement actions in the product safety area

  • The EC is providing financial contributions for specific joint surveillance and enforcement actions to improve administrative and enforcement cooperation on Community consumer protection legislation, including the General Product Safety Directive.

  • Two of these joint actions are running under the 2004 budget. One, led by Italy, the "Susy Safe Project", concerns the development of a market "surveillance system on suffocation injuries due to foreign bodies in European children". The other, led by Germany, relates to the further development of an integrated tool for market surveillance, in the form of a database. Both projects have several participating countries, including from the new Member States. A new project under the 2005 budget has been approved by the Commission. This project, "Best practice market surveillance - enhancement of market surveillance of product safety within the framework of the GPSD", is led by the Netherlands and will run until the end of 2008. It involves 15 countries including six new Member States.

  • Estonia, Slovenia, Hungary and Poland are also participating as partners in on-going joint projects coordinated in the context of the General Product Safety Network, without EU co-financing.

Expanding networks: RAPEX and Product Safety Network

  • New Member States are fully participating in the activities of these networks. Many of them are very active in submitting notifications in the framework of RAPEX.

Expanding networks: European Consumer Centres Network, ECCs (information and cross-border problems)

  • The network has been expanded to nine new Member States during 2005 and 2006. The remaining ECC in Slovenia will be open by end 2006.

  • The European financial contribution is in the form of an annual grant up to 70% of eligible expenditures for the new structures in the recent Member States and for the first two years of activity.

  • DG SANCO and TAIEX have set up 'mentoring' schemes between centres in 'old' and new Member States which take the form of expert visits/study visits. This activity involving national authorities and/or ECC staff has been successfully implemented.).

Information campaigns on consumer rights

  • A call for tender for information campaigns in Hungary, Cyprus and Malta was launched in August 2006 to be carried out in 2007/2008.

  • Campaigns in the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Slovenia started in May 2006.

  • CAn information campaign on consumer rights and promoting consumer associations in Poland was launched by Commissioner Danuta Huebner in Warsaw on 16 May 2005.

Transition Facility 2004-2006 (Directorate General for Enlargement)

  • Continued support for projects in the consumer area is available under the Transition Facility for 2004-2006. This is a Community instrument to assist the new Member States to address the continued need for strengthening institutional capacity in certain areas, such as the Internal Market. Proposals have to be submitted by each Member States to the Commission - see document PDF.

European consumer organisations

  • The European level organisations have also considerably increased their activities towards new Member States. Except for Lithuania, each new Member State is now represented within BEUC by at least one national consumer organisation per country.

  • In 2005, BEUC has set up a mentoring programme where members from the 15 old Member States build up a long-standing advisory relationship with consumer organisations in the new Member States.

  • ANEC, the European standardisation consumer association, organised a training programme for the new Member States (28-29 October 2005) to support and encourage the involvement of consumer experts from these countries in European standardisation.

  • As mentioned above, DG SANCO is now encouraging discussions between BEUC and TAIEX to develop activities in favour of consumer organisations in the new Member States. .

last update: 26-09-2006



 
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