Consumer greetings from Buenos Aires: My days at the WTO Ministerial Conference

Last week, the 164 members of the World Trade Organization (WTO) convened in Buenos Aires for their biannual ministerial conference. Although expectations before the conference were low, they were undercut by the actual outcomes. Most countries had hoped for fresh...

/ December 20, 2017

For warmer homes and less energy poverty in the EU

Daniel helps a family stay warm with some clever tricks. Sticking bubble wrap around the windows is one option to keep the cold out of the house. But these are short-term fixes, not long-term solutions. And winters are cold in...

and / December 4, 2017
Consumers can save fuel and money if the EU goes the full mile on CO2 targets for cars

Consumers can save fuel and money if the EU goes the full mile on CO2 targets for cars

On 8 November, the European Commission published its much-awaited “Europe on the Move” legislative package. In the Commission’s own words, it wants to “reaffirm Europe’s leadership in fighting climate change and the Commission’s endeavour to empower Europe’s citizens and defend...

/ December 1, 2017
Winter is here, with its cold temperatures and biting winds. For many of us, this is the season to slather on moisturising lip balms: we apply them before we go out into the cold, after eating or drinking, or even after a kiss!

Bite your lip! Your balm may contain unsafe oils

Winter is here, with its cold temperatures and biting winds. Your skin may start to feel dry and itchy, and your lips may become chapped. For many of us, this is the season to slather on moisturising lip balms: we...

/ November 22, 2017

e-Privacy and the doorstep salesmen

In the European lobby city, Brussels, foes of strong e-Privacy rules have spread the term “consent fatigue”. Behind this phrase is the ‘concern’ of the advertising industry that since consumers have to give their consent – for snooping on them...

/ October 17, 2017

No. The EU does NOT want to ban your chips

Recently, headlines in Germany and Austria might have made you shiver with fear: “The. EU. Wants. To. Ban. Crispy. Chips”. No less! The same EU which dictates the shape of our bananas and cucumbers [1] is now meddling with our...

and / September 25, 2017
Picture that intends to showcase talks between regulators.

Making ‘open trade’ and the global market work for EU consumers

“Open trade must go hand in hand with open policy making,” Jean-Claude Juncker said in his annual State of the Union speech last week. With this statement he kicked-off changes in the way the European Commission conducts trade negotiations. His...

and / September 20, 2017

What the fipronil egg crisis tells us about the pitfalls of open markets

Looking back at the summer of 2017, two things people will probably remember are the summer hit Despacito and the egg crisis. When it comes to the eggs the short version goes like this: In July, Belgian authorities alerted their...

/ September 12, 2017

Roaming done. International calls next

Since 15 June, roaming fees in the EU are part of history. That is undoubtedly great news for consumers and a big step towards the creation of a single market for telecom services. But it has also created a terrible...

/ August 28, 2017

Why cooperation should be the Brexit-buzzword

The European Union counts more than 30 agencies. Scattered throughout the EU – in Heraklion, Valenciennes, London or Bilbao – they perform specific tasks to help the EU implement its policies and prepare its decision-making. The agencies deal with cyber...

/ June 16, 2017