10 years of engagement for better consumer protection across borders
The ECC-Net is born from the merger of the Extrajudicial Settlement of Consumer Disputes (EEJ-Net) and European Consumer Infocentres (Euroguichet) networks. It is an example of the collaboration between the national and EU levels, as ECCs are hosted by public bodies or non-profit organisations in the Member States, Iceland and Norway and co-financed by the European Union.
ECC-Net has grown in size over this first decade. Since 2005, at the pace of EU enlargement, three new ECCs have been created: in Bulgaria and Romania in 2007, and in Croatia in 2013.
But from the outset, ECC-Net’s mission has been very clear: increase trust in cross-border shopping, and therefore help consumers to reap the full benefits of the Single Market. That meant cutting through the complexity of EU consumers’ rights in cross-border transactions, and anticipate emerging trends.
Since 2005, the reality of the European consumers has dramatically evolved, and so have the expectations of European consumers. The annual number of information and assistance requests handled by ECC-Net rose from 43 000 in 2005 to over 80 000 at the end of 2013. The dominant factor for this increase is e-Commerce, as it nowadays represents over 60% of all complaints – and is expected to grow further.