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Consumer Policy Policy Developments
Consumer education is an integral part of the European Communitys consumer policy. Its aim is to help consumers acquire the skills, attitudes and knowledge they need in order to be able to gear the choices they make as consumers to their economic interests and to protecting their health and safety. In this way it constitutes a prior stage to the provision of information for consumers on their rights and obligations.
Children and young people represent an important target group, given their triple role as consumers, purchasing motivators and education vectors in the family environment. The European Communitys action is primarily aimed at integrating consumer education into the school environment, in line with the principle of subsidiarity. To this end, the Community is supporting regional and national initiatives, not only financially, but also by encouraging partnerships between education players (specialists in the various sectors of consumer education) as well as transnational exchanges and transfers of experience and best practices. It also feels that consumer education must become a continuous process in the life of each individual, and for this reason it is giving financial support to transnational education initiatives for adult consumers which offer a genuine added value in terms of exchanges of experience and best practices among Member States.
The European Community is aware that joint measures at national and Community levels should be more structured, in order to achieve maximum effectiveness. It will draw up an action programme with this in mind.