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Archivio Emma Bonino commissario UE
The European - 23 febbraio 1995

The European, 23 February 1995

The European Commission's first on-line consumer guide was due to be launched on 24 february.

Accessible via Internet for just a cost of a telephone call, it aims to offer an easy-to-follow guide through the labyrinth of European Union legislation.

Offering advice on how to rent a house or sue your hairdresser, the Commission has promised that the guide will updated regularly.

Emma Bonino, the EU Consumer Policy Commissioner, launched the Guide to coincide with G 7-sponsored Conference in Brussels on the information superhighway.

"Consumers must be the real center of the information society" said Bonino.

You cannot develop such a society if you are only concerned with the needs of businesses and corporations.

A spokeswoman for the European Consumers Organization, BEUC, said:

"This is a good example of how new technology can work to the consumer's advantage. But it is rather formal and we hope the Commission will include more practical information".

Bonino's initiative comes as the Commission faces criticism for failing to utilise the Internet, which already links an estimated 40 million users worlwide.

Indipendent public policy consultant MacLennan and Ward, which says the EU's 40 databases are unconnected and difficult to access from EU outside institutions, recommends creating an EU net linking the main databases to public libraries and town halls throughout the Union.

The electronic Consumer Guide can be accessed on the Internet by using the code www.cec.lu

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