On Sunday, the new German grand coalition announced that consumer protection will now be located within the Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection. The Ministry will be headed by Heiko Maas, a social democrat.
The new Ministry has the right to initiate legislation also in the field of consumer protection and is able to introduce draft bills. This used to be impossible when the responsibility for consumer protection was located in the Ministry of Agriculture. “The new political location of consumer protection is a benefit for consumer protection in Germany. Many consumer and legal issues are now concentrated within one Ministry”, says Lukas Siebenkotten, Chairman of the vzbv-board.
New State Secretaries alongside the new Minister will be Gerd Billen and Ulrich Kelber as Parliamentary State Secretary. Since August 2007 Gerd Billen was Director of the Federation of German Consumer Organisations (vzbv) and consequently head-lobbyist for consumer issues in Germany. He studied social and nutrition science as well as household-economics. In 1985 he was among the founders of the organisation “Consumer Initiative” (Verbraucher Initiative e.V.). Ulrich Kelber, the new Parliamentarian State Secretary, has been a consumer expert for years. Since 2005 he is responsible for consumer protection within the SPD. During the recent coalition negotiations, he also led the working group on consumer protection.
Further information: http://www.vzbv.de/12624.htm