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European Consumer Consultative Group

The European Consumer Consultative Group is a discussion group on issues related to consumer interests at Community level. It is composed of national and European consumer organisations. It advises the Commission when it is drawing up policies and activities which will affect consumers. It also informs the Commission of developments in consumer policy in the Member States. Finally, it disseminates information on Community action to the national consumer organisations.

ACT

Commission Decision 2009/705/EC of 14 September 2009 setting up a European Consumer Consultative Group.

SUMMARY

The European Union (EU) guarantees a high level of protection for consumers, a requirement which it takes into account in preparing its policies and actions. In this context, before making any plans which may have an effect on consumers, the Commission consults the consumer organisations represented within the consumer consultative group.

The Group may be consulted on all issues related to consumer interests at Community level. It gives opinions and advises the Commission. It also serves as a platform for the exchange of information between the organisations represented and informs the national organisations about European activities.

Membership

The Group is composed of:

  • one representative of national consumer organisations for each Member State;
  • one representative of each European consumer organisation.

The European consumer organisations meet several criteria. They must be non-governmental, non-profit-making and independent of industry, commerce and business.

They must also:

  • have as their primary activity the protection of the health, safety and economic interest of consumers;
  • represent at least half of the Member States;
  • be able to provide the Commission with accounts of their membership, internal rules and sources of funding.

Or:

  • be active in the context of the European standardisation process;
  • have been mandated in at least two thirds of the Member States to represent the interests of consumers at Community level.

Appointment and terms of office of members

The Group is composed of 29 members appointed for 3 years. Their term of office is renewable.

Members of the Group representing national consumer organisations are appointed following the proposals of candidates sent by the national administrations. The Commission appoints one member and one alternate per Member State in accordance with a series of criteria:

  • candidates must have a broad competence and experience in EU consumer affairs;
  • candidates who have not previously been members of the Group are given priority;
  • the gender balance must be guaranteed at the level of the Group as a whole.

Members of the Group representing European consumer organisations and an alternate for each member are appointed by the Commission on a proposal from the European consumer organisations.

In the interests of debate, the Commission may invite associate members or experts who are members of organisations not represented in the Group.

Operation

The Commission determines the frequency of the Group’s meetings. It chairs the Group and provides secretarial services.

The Group adopts its own rules of procedure on the basis of a proposal made by the Commission.

The Group may decide to set up temporary sub-groups to examine specific questions. There are 4 sub-groups on the following questions: financial services, competition, energy and the definition of indicators for consumer organisations.

Background

Since 1973 the Commission has been assisted by a consumer consultative group created by consecutive Decisions, the last one being Decision 2009/705/EC.

Decision 2009/705/EC repeals and clarifies the provisions of Commission Decision 2003/709/EC. Using the experience acquired, it aims to improve the effectiveness, representativeness and openness of the Group.

REFERENCES

Act

Entry into force

Transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Decision 2009/705/EC

14.9.2009

-

OJ L 244 of 16.9.2009

Last updated: 13.11.2009

See also

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