ECC-Net is a unique and independent network, with more than 300 legal specialists delivering free legal assistance to consumers in their own language in 29 countries across EU Member States, Iceland and Norway. ECC Ireland is one of the offices in this network, offering these services to consumers living in the Republic of Ireland.
ECC-Net was established in 2005, with the aim of making it easier for consumers to exercise their rights in the EU, Norway and Iceland. ECC-Net helps by mediating between consumers and businesses in cross-border disputes. ECC-Net has an independent role in this respect, and highlights its legal position to both the consumer and the business. The purpose of mediation is finding a solution that is reasonable and acceptable to both parties.
The European Commission and national authorities work together to fund ECC-Net. ECC Ireland is co-funded by the European Commission and the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment. The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission is the designated body responsible for providing the ECC Ireland service.
The mission of ECC-Net is to increase consumer confidence when shopping or travelling in the EU so they can take full advantage of the opportunities offered by the European single market. In essence, ECC-Net blurs borders, removes language barriers and offers the same protection in 30 countries as if a consumer has a conflict with a business in their home country. ECC-Net operates on a not-for-profit basis.
ECC-Net defends the interests of consumers by identifying problems at an early stage and proactively informing consumer authorities and European stakeholders. Its aim is to continually improve European and national regulations, along with policymaking.
ECC-Net consists of 29 ECC offices located in the following countries: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and The Netherlands.