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Subject: 10th anniversary of European Consumer Day

Publication date: 13 March 2009

Source: European Economic and Social Committee

What is the future for Consumer rights?

On 13 March 2009, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) will celebrate the 10th European Consumer Day (ECD), organised in conjunction with the European Commission and the Czech Presidency of the EU Council. The theme of this year's event, which will be held at the EESC building, is consumer rights. The event will be opened by EESC President Mario Sepi, and will be attended by the Czech deputy prime minister with responsibility for European affairs, Mr Alexandr Vondra and the European Commissioner for Consumer Protection, Ms Meglena Kuneva.

The EESC has held a Consumer Day every year since 1999, in close cooperation with the European Commission. This event, which has often secured the support of the Member State holding the Presidency of the Council of the European Union, will this year be held on the EESC premises.

The main topic this year is consumer rights in the context of cross-border trade. The day will be structured around three workshops focusing on distance and off-premises contracts, unfair terms in consumer contracts, as well as on the sale of consumer goods and associated guarantees.

At a time when the economic crisis is sometimes being used as an excuse to call the single market into question, it is crucial to ensure the smooth operation of the ever-expanding single market by boosting consumer confidence as regards the respect of their rights and by calling on businesses to open up to cross-border trade. Accordingly, at the end of 2008 the European Commission presented a draft directive on the harmonisation of consumer rights at European level, which will be the subject of a forthcoming EESC opinion. This issue is currently of key importance for both European consumers and businesses.

The EESC will hold a press breakfast at 10.15 a.m. with President Sepi, Commissioner Kuneva, Minister Vondra and Ms Thyssen, MEP.

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