US-style litigation culture? Only if you like alternative facts!

The howls of protest from business groups could be heard across Europe. On 11 April, the Commission proposed to make collective compensation claims possible when large numbers of consumers have been harmed by the same trader. Cue uproar and pandemonium....

Collective redress for European consumers – yes, we can

I was sitting back in a train from Strasbourg to Brussels in early spring 1998. Looking at the landscape in a train often gives you the distance you need to analyse something happening in your life. I was a young...

/ April 16, 2018

Technology to the rescue of finance?

Enter ‘Fintech’ into your favourite search engine. You will discover a whole universe of new technologies, companies and services, all set to revolutionise the way consumers manage their personal financial life. Smart apps and on-line platforms offer consumers tailored banking,...

/ June 30, 2016

Why digital can’t replace cash

We live in a digital era where smartphones rule. These intelligent devices offer consumers instant and convenient access to information, services, shopping, banking and payments. So a logical question is to ask whether banknotes and coins still have a role...

/ June 16, 2016

Chaos and disorder in copyright law – happy #WorldIPDay!

Many of us are mourning the loss of Prince, one of the world’s great music talents. What most of us don’t know is that he was also a champion of copyright enforcement. On the 16th edition of World Intellectual Property...

/ April 26, 2016

The EU’s net neutrality rules: an unfinished business

A few months ago, the EU institutions finally adopted the first ever European net neutrality law. Following several years of fierce debates, European leaders realised the importance of protecting one of the most fundamental principles of the internet. The EU follows...

/ March 10, 2016

For better or for worse? The Commission and its ‘better regulation’ agenda

One of the Juncker Commission’s favourite catchphrases is to deliver ‘better regulation for better results.’ At the same time, it claims it will serve citizens and restore confidence in the European Union project. Unfortunately, recent developments suggest it is struggling...

/ February 25, 2016

Health: Is TTIP the pill for all our ills?

Transatlantic cooperation, done properly, could have a positive impact on consumers on both sides of the Atlantic in various areas, including health. Nevertheless, reading the EU’s positions on the pharmaceutical and medical devices[1] (e.g. pace makers, hip implants) chapters of...

/ July 14, 2015

Postponing the European Parliament’s TTIP resolution is not what consumers want to hear

The European Parliament has been working for months on its recommendations to the Commission on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations. No less than 14 committees were involved. At the last minute, the vote was postponed. In this...

and / June 15, 2015

What is wrong with chlorinated chicken

As the transatlantic trade deal negotiations increasingly make the headlines in newspapers, chlorinated chicken has emerged as a symbol of the detriments European consumers can face if the TTIP (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership) deal is signed. Though the thought...

/ July 14, 2014