The Energy Ombudsmen Network-NEON General Meeting focuses on the analysis of the Proposal for a Directive on representative actions for the protection of the collective interest of consumers


The Catalan Ombudsman, who is one of the founding members, agrees that the Proposal may reinforce the protection of consumers

The Catalan Ombudsman participated this Wednesday, 13th June, in Brussels at the NEON General Meeting, which focused on the recent Proposal of the Council of Europe  that must allow consumers to organize themselves collectively.

As already stated last April, the NEON has welcomed the Directive: By allowing consumers to join up to defend their case collectively before a court, this proposal sets the framework for national legal landscapes allowing for an enhanced cooperation between public interest out-of-court settlement bodies –which are already dealing with cases of mass harm on a daily basis– and the judiciary.

This is the case of of all the NEON members. In this sense, the Commission proposal would thus allow them to be designated as “qualified entities” by Member States, allowing them to bring a case to court whenever the mediation process leads to a dead end.

To be fully effective, the NEON considers that ombudsman institutions need to be inserted in a coherent legal framework ensuring that national and regional ombudsmen and mediators, ADR bodies, regulators, public authorities, consumer organizations and the courts work together to achieve the same goals.

In any case, the NEON considers that the Directive finally approved should set out some issues that are not well resolved for the time being.


The National Energy Ombudsmen Network (NEON) has as its main objectives the dissemination of alternative dispute resolution mechanisms, in accordance with the recommendations of the European Commission, encouraging consumer protection, establishing links with other European agents in the sector and to facilitate the exchange of information, experiences and good practices among its members. The four founding members are the Mediation Service of the Energy Sector of Belgium, the Ombudsman Service of the United Kingdom, the National Mediator of the Energy Sector of France and the Catalan Ombudsman. Also participating in the meetings there are representatives of Italy, Ireland and the Czech Republic.

The NEON is the interlocutor of the ombudsman in the energy sector with the European Commission and, accordingly, participates in several working groups of the General Directors of Energy and Justice. There is also a permanent working relationship with the Council of European Energy Regulators (CEER) and the European Association of Consumer Associations (BEUC).