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Consumers (09-10-2012)

European Commission gearing up to behavioural science–based interventions in consumer information and education

Following-up on its "European Consumer Agenda"1 of May this year, a new paper from the European Commission sets out how it is refocusing its actions in consumer information and education. It looks in particular at awareness raising and capacity building of consumer associations as part of the drive to empower EU consumers.

The paper critically assesses the results and impacts of the Commission's past interventions in this area and tries to draw lessons from research, evaluations and experiences by various national and international actors. It addresses issues such as:

  • is consumer power getting stronger or weaker?
  • what can we learn from behavioural economics research about what is really driving consumer choice?
  • how best to ensure the transparency and reliability of price comparison sites, quality labels and green claims?
  • how to make awareness raising of consumer rights and redress more effective?
  • how to help consumers make sense of complex financial services markets?
  • who are vulnerable consumers and what can help them make the right choices?
  • what impact are social media having on consumer empowerment?

For more information including the full paper : http://ec.europa.eu/consumers/strategy/docs/commission_staff_working_knowledge_enhancing_2012_2014_en.pdf

1 A European Consumer Agenda, Boosting confidence and growth