European Consumer Summit 2023ConPolicy input on consumer vulnerability and how to reach specific consumer groups

On March 28, 2023, the European Commission hosted the European Consumer Summit 2023. In the context of the summit inter alia a workshop on skills for consumers to address vulnerability was hosted.

In an input presentation, Prof. Dr. Christian Thorun, Managing Director of the ConPolicy Institute, introduced the concept of consumer vulnerability and shared insights into success factors for reaching out to specific (vulnerable) consumer groups.

In his introduction to the concept of consumer vulnerability he highlighted that within the Green Deal the European Commission had set the objective to leave no one behand in the necessary transformations. This idea was translated in the New Consumer Agenda, which states that consumers should play an active role in the green and digital transitions. Yet the reality showed that many consumers are currently insufficiently equipped to play this active role. Particularly vulnerable consumers would need to be empowered and their sills and competencies had to be stepped up. He concluded that local advice activities, which targeted particularly vulnerable consumers, could play an important role in this empowerment process. 

Based on a study that ConPolicy implemented jointly with VVA, he highlighted four success factors for organisations that seek to reach out to vulnerable consumers:

  1. Tailoring the initiatives to specific consumer groups
  2. Collaboration and partnerships
  3. Advice at the right moment
  4. Online advice development

His presentation can be found here.