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Consumers (02-12-2005)

Empowering European consumers: Commission holds annual conference with consumer groups

On 5-6 December 2005 more than 350 consumer representatives from across Europe will gather in Brussels to attend the EU “General Assembly of Consumer Associations”, organised by the European Commission. They will address issues such as consumer education, the involvement of consumer associations in the better regulation policy launched by the Commission, patient rights and services of general interest. The aim of the conference is to help empower European consumers to make the most of the Internal Market. To achieve this objective the Commission encourages networking between consumer associations across the EU. Initiatives to be presented during the conference include projects carried out by consumer organisations and Commission-supported “European Consumer Centres”. Speaking ahead of the General Assembly, European Health and Consumer Protection Commission Markos Kyprianou said: "Consumer empowerment and education is key in EU consumer policy. Our awareness-raising activities address, primarily, the European dimension of consumer rights, complementing national initiatives. In recent years, the need for consumer education has become increasingly evident, due to globalisation, completion of the European single market, economic and monetary union, new information technologies and sophisticated strategies for promoting increasingly complex products, all of which have a significant impact on consumers. The General Assembly will foster dialogue with consumer representatives and help the Commission promote consumer rights in the Internal Market.”
For a full programme of speakers and debates see: http://europa.eu.int/comm/consumers/cons_org/assembly/assembly_en.htm