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Consumers (16-03-2007)

Commissioner Kuneva discusses the future of consumer policy with European and American consumers, and the consumer movement

European Consumer Protection Commissioner Meglena Kuneva is engaging in pro-active dialogue with consumers and the consumer movement to discuss the future of EU consumer policy.
On March 12, Mrs Kuneva spoke at the 8th annual meeting of the Trans-Atlantic Consumer Dialogue (TACD). Participants included Mr C. Boyden Gray, U.S. Ambassador to the EU, and Mrs Catherine Geslain-Lanéelle, Executive Director of the European Food Safety Authority.  At the meeting, EU and US consumer representatives discussed various policy issues, including: intellectual property, information society, food safety issues and EU-US Regulatory Cooperation.
The TACD is a network of US and EU consumer organisations, which develops and puts forward joint consumer policy recommendations to the US government and the European Commission in the framework of the EU-US Economic Partnership. The TACD includes 65 consumer organisations (45 EU and national organisations and 20 US organisations). It was launched in 1998. The TACD conferences take place once a year, alternately in the US and the EU.
Furthermore, on March 6, the Commissioner addressed the quarterly meeting of the European Consumer Consultative Group (ECCG) for the first time. The Group includes representatives from national and European consumer organisations. Participants discussed the Commission Energy Package 2007, the consultation on the review of EU consumer law, and in particular the EU Consumer Policy Strategy 2007-2013, which was adopted on March 13.  
The European Consumer Consultative Group (ECCG) is an advisory group to the Commission, established in 2003. It is the Commission’s main forum for engaging in dialogue with the consumer movement and gauging its feedback on developments in national and EU consumer protection policy.
It includes 29 members (appointed for a 3-year term of office): one member representing all national consumer organisations from each Member State and one member each from the European consumer organisations BEUC[1] and ANEC[2][3]. The ECCG has 2 associate members (EUROCOOP[4], COFACE[5]).
Consumer Organisations are key stakeholders to be consulted on all EU policy initiatives affecting consumers. Their role is to identify problems that need to be addressed by public authorities in order to ensure that the policies being developed are good for consumers in practice. But they also have an important role downstream as one of the most trusted organisations advising and providing information to consumers.
 For further information on the TACD please visit:
For further information on the ECCG please visit:

[1] Bureau Européen des Unions des Consommateurs
[2] European Association for the Co-ordination of Consumer Representation in Standardisation
[3] AEC (Association of European Consumers), although still being officially a member, seems not to have had any operational activities in 2005.
[4] European Community of Consumer Cooperatives
[5] Confédération des Organisations familiales de la Communauté Européenne