Brussels, 15 May 2008
Why did the Commission and UEFA launch a consumer advice campaign?
The 2008 UEFA European Football Championship ("EURO 2008"), will take place in Austria and Switzerland, from 7 June to 29 June 2008. A total of 16 teams will participate in the tournament.
Many people encounter problems when travelling abroad, from air passenger rights, medical insurance cover, ticketing, roaming charges and shopping – and a major event such as EURO 2008 can only magnify the issue. That is why Commissioner Kuneva is teaming up with UEFA President Michel Platini to ensure football fans / consumers know their rights – and how to enforce them. The aim of the campaign is to ensure that consumers, who also happen to be football fans travelling to Austria and Switzerland, are fully informed of their rights and how to use them.
What does the campaign consist of?
The Commission and UEFA will launch an EU consumer helpline, managed by the Europe Direct service, to help answer the most frequently asked questions from consumers and fans travelling abroad. They will also publish an advice brochure. The Commission-sponsored network of European Consumer Centres (ECC-net) will also provide support and advice to consumers – both before they travel to the tournament and once they arrive home.
What are the most common problems reported by tourists travelling within the EU?
In preparing for this campaign, the Commission drew on the experience of Germany during the World Cup 2006 tournament.
The most common consumer problems experienced by fans travelling to this tournament were uncertainty about their rights when it came to delayed flights, lost luggage, faulty purchases, medical care abroad and hiring a car. UEFA also has much experience in assisting fans with ticketing and other tournament-related problems, and this has also been fed into the information being made available through the campaign.
What is covered in the EU-UEFA advice leaflet?
The leaflet presents the EU consumer helpline and points to advice from the Commission-sponsored network of European Consumer Centres. It elaborates on ticketing, the European Single Emergency Number 112, medical cover and the EU health card, air and rail passenger rights, roaming charges, shopping and guarantees, precautions to be taken when driving abroad (insurance, driving licence etc.), and what to do if your goods are stolen.
What is the EU Consumer helpline?
The helpline is managed by the Commission's "Europe Direct" service. It is free-phone from all EU countries and will be available in all EU official languages. You can call 00 800 6 7 8 9 10 11 from 9h00 to 18h30 CET on weekdays from anywhere in the EU.
What issues does the helpline NOT cover? And where do I go to get advice then?
The helpline has been set up specifically to deal with consumer issues – and the operators are fully briefed by UEFA and the European Commission to help consumers, in all EU languages, on the broad range of issues set out in the leaflet.
For problems or questions related to other issues – such as legal rights, lost property, match information, ticket problems, or reporting a crime – fans need to go to the police, embassy or UEFA fan embassies. All these contact details are available on the web-pages set up by the Commission, ECC-Austria and UEFA for the tournament. Where necessary, the helpline will try to point people in the right direction if they call with a problem outside the scope of consumer rights.
Can the helpline be reached from Switzerland?
No. Fans should be aware that the free-phone helpline number does not work from Switzerland. Instead, they should call the standard number + 32-2-299.96.96 , but be aware that normal international charges apply.
Do EU consumer rights apply in Switzerland?
No. Switzerland is not part of the EU and has its own national legislation. In some instances (e.g. medical cover, driving licence recognition), Switzerland has aligned its policies to those of the EU. But fans must be aware that EU consumer law does not apply in Switzerland.
Do European consumer rights apply to non-EU citizens when they are
visiting the EU?
Everybody is protected by EU consumer legislation when staying in an EU country. So, whether you are British, Spanish, Russian, South African or any other nationality, if you have consumer rights when you are in the EU. For instance, if you buy a good in a shop located in the EU you are covered by EU legislation on faulty goods and guarantees. Non-EU football fans can be confident that their rights are protected by stringent EU law!
Where can people find more information about their consumer rights?
European Commission: Consumer Policy:
European Consumer Centres:
In particular, ECC Austria's EURO 2008 page:
UEFA – EURO 2008
 * Certain mobile
telephone operators do not allow access to 00800 numbers or may charge for these
In certain cases, these calls may be chargeable from telephone boxes or hotels