CONSUMER PROTECTION, SERVICES, PUBLIC HEALTH AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT POLICIES
As far as consumer protection is concerned, COFACE’s philosophy is an ambitious one. It draws together two concepts: the 'consumer' and the 'family'. Where the consumer is often considered as an isolated entity in EU policy. COFACE strives to defend consumer interests by focusing on the family cell as a consumer, with specific needs.
In more pragmatic terms, the consumer protection dimension can be illustrated with the recent drafting of the Consumer Rights Directive. COFACE has been a consistent defender of adequate consumer rights protection, favouring quality targeted harmonisation rather than a maximum harmonization which could be detrimental to consumers. A strong consumer protection is essential from a family perspective. All in all, consumer protection needs to be strong at the legislations’ core, not after countless consumer complaints and court cases.
As regards Services, families as consumers, often have specific needs. For instance, regarding public transport, COFACE strongly promotes measures to make these more 'family friendly', with accessible vehicles, available spaces for baby carriages, special prices for families and children.
Public health and family health issues coincide in many ways. Specific issues regarding health cannot be addressed without taking into account the family dimension, especially when considering the health of children.
COFACE is active in a variety of health policy related matters linked to family policy: COFACE is a member of the European Platform for Action on Diet, Physical Activity and Health which aims at reducing obesity especially among children, COFACE took part in the campaign alongside many other NGOs such as EPHA advocating for a better Pharmaceutical policy via the revision of the Pharmaceutical package. For years also, COFACE has been working on the issue of alcohol, in particular following the activities of the European Forum on Alcohol.
COFACE recently adopted a position on sustainable development. Not only do families play a part in sustainable development via their consumption patterns but it is within the family context that children are brought up to pay attention to questions such as the importance of the protection of the environment, pollution etc, not to mention that the policies that we draft today are designed or at least, should be designed in order to ensure that the planet we pass on to our children is safe, healthy, clean and does not jeopardize their future.
Published on 16 May 2007
Updated on 04 Jul 2012