What should be the goal of consumer policy? What kind of consumer policy do we really need in a market economy based on individual freedom, self-determination and responsibility for oneself? And how justified are fears that an overly patronizing nanny state will strangle the economy with excessive bureaucracy and thus impede innovation? Those questions have not just been crucial for the ongoing debate on how to protect and strengthen the interests and rights of consumers at the EU level but also within the individual member states.
In order to discuss this significant topic the Stiftung Marktwirtschaft and the Friedrich-Naumann-Stiftung für die Freiheit jointly organized the conference „EU Consumer Protection Policies: Market or Regulation“ in Brussels on March 31st, 2009. Meglena Kuneva, European Commissioner for Consumer Affairs during the first Barroso Commission, was the keynote speaker of the event and talked about the achievements of the Commission’s consumer policy in the past as well as its vision for its future. The conference report at hand contains summaries of all lectures.
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