The Journal of Consumer Policy is the scientific journal for researchers, that are working on consumer policy issues. Against the backdrop of its 40th anniversary the editors of the journal, inter alia Prof. Dr. Hans Micklitz and Prof. Dr. Lucia Reisch, organized an international conference. For two days researchers as well as representatives of international organizations (such as the United Nations) and of non-governmental organizations (such as BEUC) came together at the European University Institute in Florence. Here a wide range of questions were discussed that are of great relevance for the future of consumer policy and research. Among them were aspects such as:
- To what extent can it be useful to harmonize consumer law internationally?
- Would it be useful and necessary to give up the “one-size-fits-all” approach to consumer protection regulation and to differentiate between different consumer groups?
- Does digitalization necessitate new laws?
- Is it still correct to say that the “poor still pay more”?
- What role should behavioral insights play in consumer policy and research?
ConPolicy-Director Prof. Dr. Christian Thorun showed in his presentation that digital technologies such as artificial intelligence or blockchain-technology could and should be used to achieve consumer policy goals. He called for more systematic research about this topic and founding.