The General Meeting of the European Consumers’ Organization (BEUC) confirmed at the weekend the decision of the organization’s Executive Committee to accept the Israel Consumer Council as a partner of the BEUC.
BEUC which is the umbrella group for European consumer organizations, examined the Israel Consumer Council for about a year and a half, and was impressed by its diverse and dynamic activity for the rights of consumers in Israel.
Under the provisions laid down in BEUC’s statutes, an organization that is not from a European county may not receive the status of a member. However, after BEUC decided that the Israel Consumer Council deserves to be among its ranks, a way was found to legally enable this, and the Council was accepted as a partner.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Finance expressed great admiration for this important achievement, at a time when Israel's standing in Europe and worldwide is unstable.
The CEO of the Israel Consumer Council, Adv. Ehud Peleg, said in remarks he made at a the BEUC General Meeting in Brussels, that the Israel Consumer Council will share its experience and knowledge with European consumer organizations and will contribute to the international effort to strengthen the status of consumers, from a sense of shared goals and challenges.
Peleg told BEUC members that Israel is characterized by the values of a civil society, similar to those that apply in European countries and that place consumer interests at the heart of public and media matters. Peleg also noted that consumer rights reminds us all to focus on what is most important ‒ the welfare of the individual within society as a whole. Peleg also stressed that “cooperation between consumer organizations around the world is one of the most beautiful expressions of common universal values, unimpeded by religion, race and gender, and without political obstacles.”
Chairperson of the Israeli Consumer Council, Dr. Miriam (Miki) Haran, applauds the acceptance of the Council to the BEUC, also in terms of its ability to contribute to consumers in Israel: “By joining BEUC, the Council is now authorized to use the databases of the organization to promoting consumer issues. We can also assist in formulating positions on issues that are at the forefront of the European consumer,” said Dr. Haran.
Daniel Meron, head of the Foreign Ministry’s Division for International Organizations says that: "The Foreign Ministry welcomes the integration of the Israel Consumer Council into BEUC and expresses confidence that it will contribute in setting Israeli standards on one level with European standards.”
Ohad Cohen, Deputy Director General of the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor and the Director of the Foreign Trade Administration, stresses that the EU is Israel’s most important trading partner, with a share of about 27 % of Israel's exports (the largest) : “We see our participation in various EU programs, among them cooperative R&D programs and assistance programs for small and medium businesses, as strategic to Israeli industry, and we did not spare any efforts in strengthening them. Joining BEUC is an additional and welcome milestone in further strengthening relations between Europe and Israel.”