ConPolicy Newsletter 2021 - 3

Dear Reader,


In today's issue ConPolicy informs you about: 

We wish you an exciting read!

Kind regards!

Your ConPolicy team

  News about ConPolicy

New project funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research
MOBITAT – Living and working 2050 – Sustainable mobility for commuters of the future

For the next three years, ConPolicy is researching how commuter flows could be made more sustainable in the future. MOBITAT 2050 will focus on the analysis of commuter flows in the Frankfurt-Rhein-Main metropolitan region using a new analytic traffic model. During the project, ConPolicy will design innovative solutions for promoting sustainable mobility behaviors and assesses their effectiveness through behavioral experiments. To this end, ConPolicy plans to cooperate with employers in the region to better understand and shape the behavior and needs of their employees. For this purpose, employers and employees are interviewed or their mobility behavior will be observed and analyzed in field studies.

To better understand commuter flows in the region, a new transport model for the metropolitan region will be created. The aim is to later use the model to measure the effectiveness of the innovative mobility solutions that are designed and developed as part of the project and to assess their effects on the metropolitan region.

ConPolicy is running the project together with four other partners, the Institute of Transport Research of the German Aerospace Center (DLR), the Chair and Institute for Urban and Transport Planning at the RWTH Aachen University, the ifeu Institute for Energy and Environmental Research and the ivm GmbH - Integrated Traffic and Mobility Management in the Region Frankfurt RheinMain.

The project is funded within the framework of the FONA (research for sustainability) strategy of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).

Further information on the project can be found here.

Transfer-Study of Strategies of a Sustainable Public Food Provision in Public Institutions in NRW on behalf of the Verbraucherzentrale NRW
New Project on Sustainable Public Food Provision in NRW

Nutrition and food production play a central role for sustainable development. In order to reach the goal of sustainable food production and sustainable nutrition, food strategies in the form of sustainable public procurement have been established increasingly in recent years. Good-practice examples of such sustainable public food provision can serve as example models, but it is not yet clear whether and under what conditions they can be transferred to other regions, such as NRW. 

In the light of this background, ConPolicy was commissioned by the Verbraucherzentrale NRW with the project "Sustainable Public Food Provision for NRW". The aim of this project is to draw findings from Good-Practice examples of sustainable public food provision and based on this, to develop practical recommendations for political strategies for the development of sustainable public food provision in NRW. The results will be presented on 30.08.2021 during the symposium "Sustainable community catering in NRW - from knowledge to action" in Düsseldorf.

More information about the project can be found here.

Final conference and report on BMJV-funded research project ConProTec_ted on the potential of digital technology for consumer protection and consumer empowerment
ConPolicy hosts virtual conference "Rethinking consumer protection digitally" and publishes final report

On February 19, 2021, the virtual conference "Rethinking Consumer Protection Digitally" was held. The theme of the conference was the question of how to release the as yet largely untapped potential of digital technology to achieve consumer policy objectives. This question was discussed with members of the German Bundestag and decision-makers from politics, companies and consumer organizations. Following the conference, the final report on the research project was published on February 28.

After a welcome by State Secretary Prof. Dr. Christian Kastrop from the German Federal Ministry of Justice and for Consumer Protection, the project team (Thomas Bendig, Fraunhofer Group IUK Technology, Dr. Sara Elisa Kettner, ConPolicy and Dr. Otmar Lell, ConPolicy) presented the key research findings. The resulting need for action was discussed in a first round with Dr. Volker Ullrich MP and Dr. Jens Zimmermann MP. In a second round, the views of various stakeholder groups on the topic of consumer protection technology were explored in greater depth. St Prof. Dr. Christian Kastrop commented for the German Federal Ministry of Justice and for Consumer Protection, Minister Ursula Heinen-Esser represented the Ministry of the Environment, Agriculture, Nature Conservation and Consumer Protection, North Rhine-Westphalia, Ulrike von der Lühe spoke as managing director of the Rhineland-Palatinate Consumer Center for the publicly funded consumer organizations, Dr. Daniel Halmer, founder and CEO of Conny GmbH and the portal represented the viewpoint of entrepreneurial legal-tech providers, and Christina Lang, CEO of DigitalService4Germany, presented the added value of a digital innovation process for addressing societal challenges. 

The discussion showed widespread consensus that there is great potential in using digital technology for consumer policy objectives. They would represent an important building block for a pro-active consumer policy. There is no knowledge deficit, but an implementation deficit. The question was how to unleash this potential. There was also consensus that more transparency must be created in digital markets so that consumers can better recognize the extent to which their interests are being protected in digital markets. To this end, it is particularly important to ensure that customer ratings are not falsified and are reliable. There was also general support for the need for consumer protection authorities and consumer organizations to have more digital skills and digital tools. There were mixed views on the question of whether federal structures in consumer advice are in need of reform and what potential lies in the cooperation of consumer organizations with entrepreneurial legal tech providers. Christina Lang from DigitalService4Germany concluded by explaining that an open digital innovation process could help to involve consumers more closely in finding solutions, on the one hand, and make cooperation between different groups of players possible, on the other.

The results of the event were taken into account in the finalization of the final report, which was published on February 28, 2021.

The short version of the study results can be found here. The long version is available for download here

More information about the project can be found here.

  Consumer policy news

Data security: Internet users consider themselves responsible

Today, the digital association Bitkom published the results of a representative survey on the subject of data security on the Internet. According to... Read more

Consumers open to political measures in mobility sector

Today, the German energy agency dena published the results of a representative survey on the mobility transition in Germany. According to the results,... Read more

Consumer rights violations: BEUC files complaint against TikTok

The European Consumer Organization BEUC filed a complaint with the European Commission against the social media and video sharing platform TikTok... Read more

Circular economy: European Parliament demands stricter consumption and recycling rules

Today, the European Parliament voted by a clear majority for the New Circular Economy Action Plan that was adopted by the Commission in March 2020 and... Read more

Vast majority of young consumers active in social networks and messenger services

On the occasion of the 'Safer Internet Day', the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis) published data on how children and teenagers use social media... Read more

  Recommended reading

Hernandez-Ramos J., S. Matheu & A. Skarmeta
The challenges of software cybersecurity certification [Building security in]

In 2019, the new European Union (EU) cybersecurity regulation 'Cybersecurity Act' (CSA) entered into force to create a common framework for the... Read more

Wilkens, M. & C. Klein
What are the potential transformative effects of sustainable investments made by consumers?

Currently, the thesis is often advocated that consumers can make important contributions to a more sustainable economy and society through their... Read more

Creutzfeldt, N. & F. Steffek
Report on the research project "Operating principles of the Consumer and Universal Arbitration Board of the Federal Republic in Kehl"

The law for implementing the two directives on both alternative and online dispute resolution for consumer affairs as of February 19, 2016, laid the... Read more

Dede, G. et al.
Cybersecurity challenges in the uptake of Artificial Intelligence in Autonomous Driving

New generations of cars are making use of advances in the field of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to provide semi-autonomous and autonomous driving... Read more

CSR report – Horizontal study and recommendations for action for the revision of CSR guideline as commissioned by the BMJV

On March 19, 2020, the German Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection (BMJV) commissioned the German Accounting Standards Committee e.V.... Read more

Cordella, M. et al.
Durability of smartphones: A technical analysis of reliability and repairability aspects

Smartphones are available on the market with a variety of design characteristics and purchase prices. Recent trends show that their replacement cycle... Read more

Piorkowsky, M.-B.
The economy is human: Economy and economics rethought

When talking about the economy, most people think of large enterprises. Contrary to this widespread belief, however, current empirical data show that... Read more