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Consumer Summit to push for more access, choice and fairness in services

European Commission - IP/10/293   17/03/2010

Other available languages: FR DE

IP/10/293

Brussels, 17 March 2010

Consumer Summit to push for more access, choice and fairness in services

Consumer advocates, consumer authorities, service industries and EU policy makers are convening for the European Consumer Summit, taking place in Brussels on 18-19 March, under the theme "Services: access, choice and fairness". Commissioner John Dalli is expected to outline his vision for EU consumer policy for the coming years. The Summit will focus on those service sectors that are the most relevant for consumers and which are underperforming for them, based on the market intelligence gathered as part of the Consumer Markets Scoreboard. These include energy and banking. The Summit outcomes will feed directly into the reflection on future policy on consumer services.

On the eve of opening of the Summit, Health and Consumer Policy Commissioner John Dalli said: "Too often, consumers feel that when it comes to key providers, such as banks, or energy suppliers, they suffer a disservice. We need to tackle these issues at EU level and I'm looking forward to this summit since it will bring together everyone concerned to work out what is going wrong and how it can be improved".

Agenda of the Summit:

This year's European Consumer Summit will home in on services for consumers, in particular on access, choice and fairness. The Consumer Markets Scoreboard 2009 identified service markets – including energyand banking– which are underperforming for consumers (see IP/09/202). The Commission has since launched in-depth market studies in these sectors. The outcome of the Summit, combined with results of the market studies and the 2010 Scoreboard, will feed into the Commission's future policy proposals on consumer services.

Commissioner Dalli is expected to open the summit with an address outlining his vision for consumer policy during his mandate.

The work at the Summit will then be organised in workshops with the following themes:

-       How to help consumers to choose the right service provider?

-       Web 3.0 – challenges and opportunities for consumers in the internet of the future

-       Bank account fees: how to ensure transparency and choice?

-       The adventure of car hire? Enforcement challenges.

-       The green energy challenge.

-       Going around in circles? How to improve urban sustainable mobility


Background

The European Consumer Summit is an annual event organised by the European Commission close to the World Consumer Rights Day (15 March). The summit brings together all the key stakeholders in consumer policy, aiming to produce actionable outcomes in a specific consumer policy area. The first summit was organised in 2009 and was entitled "Consumer trust in the digital marketplace".

For more information please visit:

The summit website: http://www.european-consumer-summit.eu

Consumer policy in the European Commission:

http://ec.europa.eu/consumers/index_en.htm


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