News item

'Seize the opportunity to shape EU legislation'

UK consumers urged to take part in the European Citizens' Initiative

UK consumers are being urged to seize a new opportunity to make an impact on European Commission legislation, by organising or voting on a European Citizens' initiative.

The European Commission is using the European Year of Citizens 2013 to launch a European Citizens' Initiative - an invitation for anyone within the EU to propose a law in a field where the Commission has power.

Topics which people can currently vote on include: the 'Single Communication Tariff Act' and '30km/h – making the streets liveable'. But there is nothing to stop people launching their own Citizens' Initiative.

A Citizens' Initiative has to be backed by at least one million EU people, coming from at least seven Member States.
To launch a Citizens' Initiative, a "citizens' committee" must be formed, comprising at least seven EU citizens living in at least seven Member States.

Andy Allen, UK European Consumer Centre (UK ECC) Director, said: “The European Year of Citizens 2013 is designed to focus on rights that every EU citizen has. All 500 million Europeans benefit daily from these rights – as does the European economy.

"European legislation has greatly enhanced the lives of UK consumers and this is a chance for those same consumers to shape future legislation.

"Consumers may on occasion feel removed from EU decision-making. This is their chance to engage in that              decision-making process. Consumers should embrace this opportunity with open arms."

People can find out more about the Citizens' Initiative - what can be proposed, who can organise an initiative and who can vote on them – from a special website: http://ec.europa.eu/citizens-initiative

ENDS
Notes to Editors

For further information please contact UK European Consumer Centre’s press office on 08456 08 96 06.

• UK European Consumer Centre consumer complaint line – 08456 04 05 03

The UK European Consumer Centre is part of the European Consumer Centre Network (ECC-Net). There are 29 centres covering Europe, plus Iceland and Norway. The aim of the network is to provide advice and support to consumers who have a dispute with a trader based in a European country outside the UK. The Network will assist consumers in the attempt to resolve the complaint.

UK ECC can provide advice in the following main areas: buying goods and services, online shopping, internet auctions, holidays, timeshare and holiday clubs, air travel.

UK ECC is co-funded by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), and the European Commission.

The UK ECC service is delivered by the Trading Standards Institute (www.tsi.org.uk)

Media queries should sent to ecc@tsi.org.uk or by phone on 08456 08 96 06.

• The UK ECC provides advice and support to consumers who have a dispute with a trader based in a European country outside the UK and will assist consumers in the attempt to resolve the complaint.

• Consumers can make contact with the UK European Consumer Centre via the website – www.ukecc.net – or by phone on 08456 04 05 03 weekdays between 10am and 3pm.

• If in doubt before you buy, contact our sister organisation – the European Consumer Centre for Services – for pre-purchasing advice: www.ukecc-services.net
EuroTrolley

DATE: 13 March 2013