The responsibility for organising the annual ECC-Net Cooperation Day of the European Consumer Centres’ Network rotates with the Council Presidency, and this year’s meeting was held in Helsinki on 24 and 25 September 2019. The event was organized and its agenda was prepared by ECC Finland.
This meeting, which lasted for a day and a half, was an auxiliary event to Finland’s Presidency of the Council of the EU. Most European Consumer Centres also participated in the Competition and Consumer Day, a Presidency event organised by the Finnish Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment on 26 September 2019.
This year, the Cooperation Day’s agenda held issues related to complaints processed by the ECC-Net, operating practices and the future, European consumer issues and sustainable development. Presentations and introductions given by representatives of different ECC offices and work in small groups were also part of the agenda. Third-party speakers at the meeting represented the European Commission, the Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority and The Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra.
European Consumer Centres are found in all EU Member States, Norway and Iceland. They provide free assistance and advise for EU consumers in issues related to cross-border trade when a consumer has a problem with a company based in another EU Member State, Norway or Iceland. Online shopping and passenger rights are the themes that come up the most frequently.
The network also has an important role as a source of information for the Commission and national consumer authorities on problems encountered by European consumers in the internal market. In Finland, the European Consumer Centre is part of the Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority.
The European Consumer Centres’ Network will celebrate its 15th anniversary in 2020.