European Consumer Centres Network 15th Anniversary
The 15th anniversary of the European Consumer Centres Network is an opportunity for us to look back and reflect on the success of the Single Market. For both face-to-face and online shopping, European Consumer Centres (ECCs) have remained relevant all along, as they have adapted very well to the new market trends and the new consumer shopping behaviours. The European Consumer Centres Network receives more than 120,000 requests from consumers each year. This year, as you can imagine, their phone lines have been busier than ever due to the sharp increase in complaints at the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, earning ECCs even more consumer trust. Daily contacts with consumers allow the centres to harness market knowledge, which is crucial for evidence-based policy-making, development and measuring the effectiveness of enforcement actions.
Looking forward, I have no doubt that the ECC Network will continue to play a vital role in consumer protection. Indeed, under the revised Consumer Protection Cooperation Regulation, the ECCs were given the power to send external alerts to enforcement authorities and the Commission when they detect wrongdoings. ECCs will also be key for the successful roll out of the European Green Deal and the Digital Agenda for Europe through awareness-raising campaigns to promote sustainable consumption.
ECCs have a bright and promising future ahead of them. I commend their work and the quality services they have been delivering to EU citizens over the past 15 years. I know we can count on them for the next years; they are a key asset for the European consumer policy and its future.