chapter  21
Pages 8

The body which consults consumer organisations has changed titles over the years, but remains essentially the same. Initially the Consumer Consultative Committee, it was reconstituted as the Consumer Committee in 1995, and in 2003 became the European Consumer Consultative Group (ECCG). The ECCG gives opinions on consumer issues, advises the commission when it drafts policies, and acts as a source of information and a sounding board on EU action. To some extent consumer policy has been the Cinderella of the EU. It was not mentioned in the Rome treaty, and it took years of campaigning by consumer organisations, often backed by pressure from the European Parliament, before practical steps were taken to ensure that consumer issues were taken seriously. The turning point came at the summit meeting in Paris in 1972, when the leaders decided that economic development must be accompanied by an improvement in the quality of life. This meant that the Community should pursue an active consumer policy.