World Consumer Rights Day: Empower people, improve the market
Euroconsumers is excited to launch its brand update that captures our vision to ‘Empower people, improve the market’ on World Consumer Rights Day 2023.
A lot has changed since the first World Consumer Rights Day on March 15th 1962. In that time we’ve seen markets globalize and digitize. We’ve seen products and services synthesize across traditional sector lines.
We’ve become aware of the huge pressure on our planet’s physical resources and know we need to make serious changes in everything we do, buy and use – and that we need to do it fast.
Consumer organisations in a continually changing world
Consumers have been active participants in this transformation, and consumer organizations have been at their side throughout. But consumer organizations always need to evolve to meet the opportunities and challenges of a continually changing and often complex world. Euroconsumers knows change needs to happen at a pace that matches the size of the challenge.
We believe this change can happen through empowering people and improving the market. Some of the ways we do this are: by empowering people to shop sustainably, use technology safely and power their homes with green energy. By improving markets so they deliver on trusted technology, the green transition and a new circular economy.
Our new branding captures how Euroconsumers and our member organisations in Belgium, Italy, Spain, Portugal and Brazil do this all year round, everyday.
Euroconsumers connecting the people and the market
Delivering on this type of change with a new network requires that we break out of our familiar confines and reach outwards. By connecting all sides we can do two things: on one side, we can give voice to the people, on the other side, we can help the market help the people.
By doing both these things simultaneously, we aim to have a broader impact on society, moving beyond the traditional two way relationship between consumers and brands. Euroconsumers will connect the dots between people and the market, a partner to both to find solutions for all.
While we may not be big enough to effect change on our own, by joining forces with others, we know we can drive change.
A strong and innovative network
Euroconsumers can also join together its strong network of national consumer groups in Belgium, Portugal, Italy, Spain and Brazil. Through product testing, consumer surveys, complaints and feedback, our national members help us gather the intelligence on markets and consumer experiences that we can use to help shape brand priorities.
Through innovative pilot programmes with our members and stakeholders we can learn at a rapid pace what solutions work for consumers as they engage with, for example, the circular economy, collective purchasing and trusted connected devices.
What does empowering people and changing the market look like?
We empower people through product testing, informing, advising, supporting and representing consumers. We make it easy for them to access and use the right tools to get the most from the market.
And we improve the market by harnessing the collective force of people, by collaborating and entering into dialogue with companies to do better and win consumer trust. But if we need to, if companies stall or won’t listen, we’ll use all our legal expertise and powers to take them to court.
How do we do it in practice? Here’s just a few examples:
- Delivering sustainability by ending early obsolescence in consumer products: Our flagship multistakeholder projects like PROMPT, and our hotline web reporting tool ‘Trashed too Fast’ has empowered people to stand up against products failing to fast. At the same time, we push hard to end the practice of designing in early obsolescence through legislation, calling for a right to repair. We demonstrate through practical projects like SHAREPAIR just how the right to repair could create a community repair system, and build up the ‘repair reflex’ in consumers. And, when companies design in obsolescence, we challenge them in the courts.
- Building a safe and secure digital experience: with collaborative campaigns like SpaceShelter and Cybersimple.be, we empower consumers to stay safe online. With our regular lab testing of consumer IoT we let consumers know the risks of connected devices and share advice on how to best protect themselves. At the same time, we campaign for a trustworthy framework that allows consumers to grasp the benefits of the digital world in a safe and secure way, through advocating for example for baseline security standards for IoT.
- An energy system fit for the green transition: We’ve worked with manufacturers and collective purchasing schemes to enable group purchases of electricity and solar panels and energy efficient heating systems. This gives consumers choices and agency, whilst clearly signally to companies that there is demand for these options. At the same time, together with BEUC, we push for a competitive market and green transition , scan the market to see if companies are meeting the energy standards they should be, and take companies to court who try to avoid their environmental responsibilities.
We use all our resources and connections to open up and lead a constructive dialogue about consumer challenges with stakeholders in and outside the market and provide solutions and commitment required to tackle them.
On World Consumer Rights Day 2023, we invite you to learn about our connected, networked approach to empower people and improve markets here.