Altroconsumo’s experience of collective redress

If the market is the carrot, then group actions are the stick. The creation of an EU-wide collective redress procedure is currently being hotly debated in Brussels. In Italy meanwhile, the Italian consumer group Altroconsumo has used this stick 14 times...

/ September 14, 2018

E-health: your every personal detail online

New technologies have flooded our lives: many day-to-day products and activities now begin with the prefixes i-, e-, cyber-, info-, techno-, m-, net-, tele-, and the list goes on. It’s easy to get lost in this carrousel of innovation! Digitalisation...

/ June 29, 2018

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

Financial guidance: the missing tool!

When you’re sick, you go to see a doctor. They usually provide a medical diagnosis and a resulting course of action. It’s the same for legal situations, where you go see your lawyer or notary. But who do you consult...

/ June 13, 2017

Fuzzy maths or how the Commission solves ‘costly’ chemicals laws

The European Commission is running EU chemicals laws through its REFIT machine. REFIT sounds like a strenuous fitness regime for overweight risk managers, right!? It’s not. Instead, it is a Commission programme that looks to streamline EU laws – a...

/ October 18, 2016

A trans fat-free future

You’ve probably heard of saturated fats in butter, omega 3 in fish, healthy fats in olive oil. But have you ever heard of trans fatty acids (TFAs)? Also called ‘trans fats’ [1], they can hide in processed foods such as...

/ June 9, 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

Whipping up a transatlantic trade agreement? Shop wisely.

The EU and US negotiators of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) meet in New York this week for the 13th round of negotiations. In the media storm that accompanies TTIP it is not easy to keep a bird’s-eye...

/ April 25, 2016

Regulators and consumer organisations – less me and more we

Without rules, consumers are at the mercy of traders. The same applies if the rules aren’t enforced. European Commissioner Věra Jourová, in charge of justice and consumer affairs, wants to see a big change in this area calling for proper...

/ April 22, 2016

A regulatory tsunami – really?

Memory in politics is often short. Less than a decade after a devastating financial crash caused by a lack of regulation in the financial sector, the gates to deregulation seem to be opening again. Banks like to refer to the...

/ April 7, 2016