Institut d'etudes Européennes
De l'Université libre de Bruxelles

"Institut International De Chimie Solvay, Neuvième Conseil de Chimie, Bruxelles, 8-13 Avril 1953."

The BIGWOOD Centre on Consumer Protection

The mission of the BIGWOOD Centre on Consumer Protection is to promote a collaborative academic-practitioner research with focus on technical assistance, training, consultancy activities on the consumer law (consumer affairs, health and food safety legislation). It also approaches the consumer protection from the perspective of Human Rights legal framework in relation with the electronic communications, collective redress and access to justice.
Our purpose is to offer a powerful blend of expertise in the consumer sector and experience in executing pan-European and global fact-finding missions and studies, particularly for the European and international organisation.
The BIGWOOD Centre on Consumer Protection activities is based on a few networks at EU level and is focused on providing directive expertise and policy advice in the area of consumer protection.

The BIGWOOD Centre  was created in 1965 by Professor E.J. Bigwood. Born in 1891, Professor E.J. Bigwood greatly contributed to the advancement of the science of consumer protection, research and development at international level by providing regular reports to international organisation such as the World Health Organization (WHO), the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the Sub-Committee on Nutrition. The first chair of the International Union of Nutritional Sciences (IUNS) was held in 1948 by Professor E.J. Bigwood. In line with his mission of supporting the development of food law in Europe and everywhere in the world, Professor E.J. Bigwood developed many collaborative activities and contacts all over the world, to remind only of an outstanding example: the long-lasting friendship with Stanford Moore, Nobel Prize Laureate in 1974, who undertook research for more than one year at ULB.

The first book « Enseignements de la guerre 1939-1945 dans le domaine de la nutrition. » in the field of food legislation was published by Professor Bigwood in 1947 while in 1967, he published its memorable book on « Fundamental principles and objectives of a comparative food law ».

Over the years, the BIGWOOD Centre has developed its field of activities and served as a bridge between the consumer protection and consumer practice. It has supported the development of beneficial partnerships between the universities at European and international level, local public health agencies, and private organizations.

Today, the BIGWOOD Centre serves a link between the EU policies in the area of consumer protection and food law, it conducts and promotes research on topics of strategic importance in these areas. It also approaches the consumer protection from the perspective of Human Rights legal framework in relation with the electronic communications, collective redress and access to justice.

Press Release - 18 November 2013: The IEE-ULB is awarded an EP framework contract for the evaluation of consumer protection in the Internal Market

The Institute for European Studies of the Université Libre de Bruxelles is pleased to announce that it will be in the coming years, a major supplier of evaluation services to the European Parliament in the fields of Impact Assessment and European Added Value, on the Internal market and Consumer protection.

The Institute for European Studies of the ULB, as the leading partner, won the framework contract with the European Parliament in collaboration with the Institut für finanzdienstleistungen (IFF), Germany, the University Carlos III Madrid, Faculty of Law, Spain, the University of Manchester, Faculty of Law, United Kingdom, the Warsaw School of Economics, Poland and the Széchenyi Istvan University, Hungary.

"We are convinced that we have created a highly collaborative, team-based environment, in which we can discuss and work one another really well in order to perform individual assignments on both Internal Market and consumer protection. We look forward to working with the EP in the coming months on a range of topics", says Prof Dr. Cristina Coteanu, referring to the framework contract.

Requests for services will cover internal market (including notably legislation in respect of the internal market and customs union, the identification and removal of potential obstacles to the full functioning of the internal market) and consumer protection (including notably promotion and protection of the economic interests of consumers).