Sunday, 11 July 2010

Consumer behaviour: the road to effective policy-making - brochure by DG SANCO

Recently DG Sanco published a brochure on 'Consumer behaviour: the road to effective policy-making'.

In the past few years the European Commission (and other European institutions have realized that consumer behaviour science might give them valuable insights as to how the European consumer law should develop. In order to research that link and find out exactly how to apply consumer behaviour findings to law, or how to shape consumer behaviour, more and more funds are spent on researching consumer behaviour.

The brochure that has just been published at the DG SANCO's website introducers the reader to the science of consumer behaviour. The purpose of the brochure is to present some of the principles of the consumer behaviour and to gain an understanding of the importance of their application in DG SANCO. Firstly, consumer behaviour is being defined and e.g. certain factors influencing decision-making process are being presented. Secondly, the reasons for exploring consumer behaviour are mentioned in the brochure.

"Understanding motivations and the main determinants behind consumer- and healthrelated behaviour is essential for policy-making because it allows us to better define the most effective tools for influencing behaviours and implementing the most effective policies."

Further, the brochure discussed practical applications of consumer behaviour as well as various tools for shaping consumer behaviour. Finally, it is specified for which areas of DG SANCO consumer behaviour is applicable.

The brochure presents rather basic findings and does not introduce any 'surprise' material. However, it is good to know that DG SANCO intends to continue its work with/on consumer behaviour. In the goals defined for DG SANCO for the coming years you may find a commitment to follow consumer trends on a regular basis and to put the consumer at the centre of all policies. One way of doing that, defined by DG SANCO itself, is to improve cooperation between academics and policy makers and to introduce scientific findings into policy decisions. I heartily approve the course set out by DG SANCO in this brochure.

The text of the brochure may be found here.

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