Who we are
The European Consumer Centres Network: Free help and advice for consumers
The European Consumer Centre Network (ECC-Net) was created by the European Commission and the EU Member States in 2005. There is one European Consumer Centre in each country of the European Union as well as in Norway and Iceland, that is 30 ECCs in total. They offer free assistance and advice to consumers.
By not only assisting free of charge with a complaint against a trader based in another EU Member State, Iceland or Norway but also answering questions on consumer rights in Europe the network definitely aims at strengthening trust in the EU internal market.
The ECC-Net also has an observatory role to play: the ECCs work together on common projects (for instance: travelling in Europe, legal guarantees and commercial warranties, crossborder car purchase and registration…). Moreover, the ECC-Net forwards potential dysfunctions of the internal market to national and European authorities.
→ Find the list of all European Consumer Centres.
Your contact partner in France: The European Consumer Center France
A cross-border complaint?
Cancelled flight, undelivered goods, faulty products… If you encounter an issue with a trader based in another country of the European Union, Iceland or Norway and you are unable to reach an amicable solution, get in touch with the European Consumer Centre (ECC) of your country of residence. There you will receive free of charge specialist advice and assistance.
If you live in France and are struggling to find a solution with a trader established in another EU Member State, Iceland or Norway, contact us at the European Consumer Centre France.
A question on your rights as a consumer in Europe?
The European Consumer Center not only assists you free of charge with a complaint against a trader based in another EU Member State, Iceland or Norway. It also answers your questions on your rights as a consumer in Europe.
No matter if you are searching for information on your rights when booking of a package holiday via a foreign provider, registering a vehicle bought abroad, buying goods in a European online shop or on your rights as an air passenger: You will receive your answer.
If you do not come across the information you are looking for on our website you can directly contact us with your concern.
You are willing to hire a craftsperson from another European Member State and you have questions on the applicable legislation? A foreign company refuses to deliver its services because you are living in another EU-Member State?
The “Services Directive » aims at assisting service recipients within the EU with the help of a European network of contact points. ECC France is one of these contact points. So if you feel discriminated because of your country of residence or you are just looking for information regarding the legislation applicable to a service offered by a company or a craftsman established abroad, do not hesitate to contact us.
One address, two countries
Both ECC Germany and ECC France are hosted by the Centre for Consumer Protection in Europe, an association dedicated to Franco-German consumption-related issues since 1993 and located in the urban area of Strasbourg and Kehl.
Elected by the states of Germany and France with the objective of protecting consumers in Europe, this centre based in Kehl is the only “binational structure in the ECC-Net”.
European Partner Network
The CPC gives wide ranging powers to enforcement bodies in the EU and will enable them to better work together to take coordinated action against traders acting illegally. Systems have been put in place that will allow each of these authorities to call on other members of the network for help in investigations to stop rogue traders. Where the enforcement authorities have a reasonable suspicion of a cross-border infringement or breach, they now have the right: to access relevant documentation and information related to the infringement; to carry out on-site inspections; to request the seller or supplier to cease the infringement; and to require losing defendants to make payments into the public purse or to a designated beneficiary if they fail to comply with the decision. Enforcement bodies will also have the power to take court action if necessary.
The European Judicial Network in civil and commercial matters (EJN-civil) is a flexible, non-bureaucratic structure, which operates in an informal mode and aims at simplifying judicial cooperation between the Member States. It gives unofficial support to the central authorities as stipulated in their instruments, and facilitates relations between different courts.
The creation of the EJN comes from the idea that the gradual establishment of a genuine area of justice in Europe entails the need to improve, simplify and expedite effective judicial cooperation between the Member States in civil and commercial matters. The Network also represents an original and practical response to the objectives for access to justice and judicial cooperation set by the Tampere (Finland) European Council in 1999. The EJN therefore provides valuable access to justice for persons engaged in cross-border litigation.
The activities of the Network are designed with the intention of promoting smooth operating procedures where the impacts cross borders and facilitating requests for judicial cooperation between Member States, in particular when no Community or international instrument is applicable.
In other words, the Network makes it easier to conduct cases with cross-border connections, to facilitate requests for judicial cooperation between Member States (e.g. to provide assistance with the service of documents or the taking of evidence), and to ensure that Community legislation and conventions between Member States are properly applied in practice.
FIN-NET is a financial dispute resolution network of national out-of-court complaint schemes in the European Economic Area countries (the European Union Member States plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway) that are responsible for handling disputes between consumers and financial services providers, i.e. banks, insurance companies, investment firms and others. This network was launched by the European Commission in 2001.
Within FIN-NET, the schemes cooperate to provide consumers with easy access to out-of-court complaint procedures in cross-border cases. If a consumer in one country has a dispute with a financial services provider from another country, FIN-NET members will put the consumer in touch with the relevant out-of court complaint scheme and provide the necessary information about it.
Read more on page How to use FIN-NET.
The ECC France cooperates with the FIN-NET network to find amicable resolutions on disputes concerning financial services.
You don't know where to start when looking for international partners? Don't have the resources to apply for EU funding? Have no idea who could finance your business? The Enterprise Europe Network is there to help.
Their experts can help you find international business partners, source new technologies and receive EU funding or finance. And they can advise you on issues so diverse as intellectual property, going international, or EU law and standards.
The Solvit network is a body funded by the European Commission to assist citizens to ascertain their EU rights in cases where a dispute has risen between a citizen and an official body of a Member state of the European Union. There is a Solvit centre in every member state (as well as in the EEA Member States Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein).
SOLVIT deals with cross-border problems between a business or a citizen on the one hand and a national public authority on the other, where there is possible misapplication of EU law. The policy areas SOLVIT has mostly dealt with so far are:
- Recognition of professional qualifications and diplomas
- Access to education
- Residence permits
- Voting rights
- Social security
- Employment rights
- Driving licences
- Motor vehicle registration
- Border controls
- Market access for products
- Market access for services
- Establishment as self-employed
- Public procurement
- Free movement of capital or payments
Europe Direct information relays acts as an interface between EU and its citizens at a local level. Europe Direct (which took its name from an earlier initiative) was launched in 2005. Members of the Europe Direct network both offer and promote EU information to the general public in their area, whilst a central enquiry point offers a wide-ranging information service via telephone and e-mail. There is a network of around 500 Europe Directs based locally across the 28 Member States as well as a Europe Direct Contact Centre. You can speak to the Contact Centre by calling a free phone number from anywhere in the European Union or by emailing them.
The Rapid Alert System enables quick exchange of information between 31 European countries and the European Commission about dangerous non-food products posing a risk to health and safety of consumers.
Every day the European Commission receives from national authorities information about dangerous products found and the measures taken. The information may come from producers or distributors who voluntarily organise recalls of the products they found posed a risk to consumers health. A list of dangerous products describing the risk they pose and the measures taken is published every week on the web. Other countries may find the same product in their national markets and add extra information and more measures to prevent the further selling of the dangerous product. All this information is circulated inside the network.
The missions of ECC France are financed by the European Commission and by the Ministry of Economy, Industry and Digital Affairs (DGCCRF / General Directorate for Competition Policy, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Control)