Training micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) on EU consumer law

BEUC, together with Eurochambres and UEAPME (the European association of Craft, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises), is running a new European Commission funded training project to boost consumer law competencies of EU’s micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).  

SMEs make up 99% of companies in the EU. This project develops and organises trainings on consumer rights for SMEs that offer their services and products online. The training project will involve SMEs from all 28 Member States in the 24 languages.

This is the first time SMEs and consumer representatives work together on a project. It is also the first project the European Parliament funds to train SMEs.

The content of the training courses includes:

  • Pre-contractual information requirements
  • Rights of withdrawal for distance and off premises contracts
  • Remedies when products are defective
  • Unfair commercial practices and unfair contract terms
  • Alternative dispute resolution and ODR platform

Ecodesign & Energy Label

The EU’s Ecodesign and energy labelling rules set energy performance, environmental impact and information requirements.

They can deliver major benefits for consumers and the environment. These benefits can be counted in terms of minimising the environmental impact of products, decreasing running costs for European households and improving the overall quality of products. 

BEUC, together with our sister organisation ANEC, ensures the consumer voice is heard when Ecodesign criteria are established. We do this as member of the Consultation Forum which advices the European Commission.

As implementing the Ecodesign Framework Directive on specific product groups entails highly technical discussions, the Öko-Institut (the Institute for Applied Ecology) provides us with technical expertise tailor-made to consumer interests.

Consumer Champion a capacity building programme for Consumer Professionals

BEUC, together with its partners SIVECO and Dara Creative established the European Commission project on capacity building for consumer professionals known as Consumer Champion. In March 2018, the project was handed over to the European Commission.

The objective of the programme is to build up both the capacity and effectiveness of the European consumer movement in Central, Eastern and South Eastern European countries. These are pursued while providing the resources and tools for consumer professionals to network and share knowledge, expertise and best practices. Appropriately, the guiding motto is “Learn. Share. Succeed”.

Three different activities were developed for the programme, namely:

  • an internet –based networking platform
  • e-learning modules
  • local courses.

More information is available on the website:

Access to medicines – A programme to ensure safe and affordable drugs for consumers

It is essential that consumers can get the medicines they need. Despite advances in medical science, it remains impossible for many people worldwide to access safe and effective medicines. Europe is no longer an exception. This programme ensures that the consumer has a voice in this debate and helps us to push decision-makers to implement a strong access to medicines policy in the EU.

The programme, supported by the Open Society Foundation, aims at ensuring the development of innovative, safe and affordable medicines for EU consumers.

Consumer Justice Enforcement Forum (CoJEF)

CoJEF aimed to improve enforcement of EU and national consumer laws by enhancing networking and training among consumer organisations. The central task of the project was to enable consumer groups to enforce existing consumer rights and laws more effectively throughout the European Union.

This was achieved by exchanging best practices, sharing case study experience and training consumer organisation lawyers. Exploring opportunities for cooperation between consumer organisations, public authorities and other actors was another central thrust of the project.

CoJEF – whose activities were partly financed by the EU budget – started in May 2014 and ended in May 2016. Interpersonal meetings, policy debating and the creation of an online knowledge base were among the project’s activities.

Find out more about CoJEF’s project partners, activities and results at: