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Monthly Newsletter edited by Cittadinanzattiva-Active Citizenship Network
Civic Activism | Patients' Rights | Consumers' Rights | Support ACN

Year 4th, number 27 - February-March 2015

More Europe, More Consumer Protection
Article 38 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, approved in Nice in 2000 states that, "Union policies shall ensure a high level of consumer protection", confirming and strengthening to put consumers at the heart of the European policies. But it is only recently, with the implementation of the European Directive 83/2011/EU, that consumers have greater protection with regards to unfair trade practices through the internet. Read more

Tina Napoli
Responsible of Consumer Affairs for Cittadinanzattiva


XIV Report by Cittadinanzattiva on Public Utilities and Consumer Rights in Italy
The XIV report presented by  Cittadinanzattiva on 18 December 2014 in Rome titled "Consumers, services and utilities: the era of discounts and confrontations",  is composed by 9,583 claims and requests for information related to the following areas: energy and the environment; telecommunications and postal services; banking and insurance services;  mobility and transportation; government, property and contracts.
All the data has been collected by our advocacy center called PIT (integrated project of citizen protection). It was created thanks to the support of the European Union  and it provides guidance, information and citizen protection for those citizens who have experienced inadequate services in the health service, other public services and in the area of justice. Read more

Focus on Energy and Environment
The focus on energy and environment covers three areas: electricity and gas (25.6%), water, and waste management services (11%). The former  relates 76% to the electrical services and the remaining 24% on gas services. Citizens mostly complain about massive bills (42.9%), billing irregularities, lack of transparency,  changing from a regulated market  to a liberal market  (total: 17.3%; a decrease of 2.4% for electricity and 3.8% for gas) and  lastly contracts (total: 12.8%; a decrease of 2.1% for electricity and an increase of  1.4% for gas). Read more

Focus on Mobility and Public Transport
Satisfaction with the local public transport is decreasing; lost luggage is the first concern for passengers using air transport. Delays, poor hygiene, lack of safety, cancelled flights, suspended trains and suppressed bus routes: these are the main complaints from citizens on national and local transport. 
There have been growing issues with local transport (total: 26.3%; 8.3% more compared to 2012) and sea transport (total: 9.2%; 6.7% more compared to 2012). Instead there has been a decrease of 13.9% on air travels (total: 43.4%) and no change on the rail transport (total: 21.1%). Read more

Focus on Bank and Insurance Services
Consumers stuck between denied loans and the defaulters’ database with difficulty in getting a loan and increased reports of defaulters: these are the main complaints from citizens on banking and insurance services in Italy. Read more

Focus on Telecommunication and Postal Services
Italian consumers  are less and less satisfied with the telecommunication and postal services due to:  termination of the contracts, loss of parcels, cancellations, change of operators, disputed invoices, suspension of services,  poor quality of services, such as: pay TV, ADSL coverage, postal products and postal banking products. These are the main complaints from citizens on telecommunication and postal services. Read more

Civic Observatory on Prices and Tariffs

The Observatory prices and tariffs of Cittadinanzattiva was founded in 2005 with the aim to compare in Italy the different pricing policies applied to public utilities and adopted in the various geographical areas of Italy; assess its impact on daily activities of the users, and inform citizens about the mechanisms on the creation of rates. Read more

Italy: Annual Dossier on Car Insurance Tariffs
Out of control rates and expensive insurances for new drivers. In the South of Italy, a growing number of uninsured vehicles and fraudulent insurances. A novice driver pays an average € 2,651 per year for a car insurance, but in extreme cases it can exceed €6,000, as it happens in some cities in the South of Italy. Read more

Italy: Annual Dossier on Waste Tariffs
In the annual report on costs and rates on waste services produced by the Observatory prices and tariffs of Cittadinanzattiva, there are increases in prices but the service does not improve. Waste management brings back the ancestral paradoxes of the Italian reality: the fees paid by the taxpayers are rising while the service remains the same. Cittadinanzattiva has drafted for the seventh consecutive year a civic survey on the costs incurred by the citizens for the disposal of waste during the last year. Read more

Civic Mobilization for Better Public Services

Civic Mobilization on Water Services and Local Public Services
On average, an Italian citizen consumes around 175 liters of water per day. Although it is decreasing, it is still high compared to the rest of the European Union. This is why it is essential that each citizen adopts a more responsible and conscious behavior towards water resources, but it is equally important to provide citizens with quality services that will enable them to meet their needs. Read more

Civic Mobilization during  the European Mobility Week
Urban mobility is recognized as an important facilitator of growth and employment, as well as being fundamental to the sustainable development of our cities, and cannot be defined regardless of the real needs and expectations of citizens. Read more

Civic Mobilization during the  European Week for Waste Reduction
The management of waste is emblematic of the many contradictions that happens in Italy: the service does not improve and the costs borne by households are increasing.
Suffice  to say that about half of the waste goes to landfills and recycling is sluggish in the Centre and South of Italy. Read more

Sustainability Issue: Meeting the Challenges of European Citizens’ Mobility from a Civic Point of View
For the Sustainability and the New Automotive Value Chain, Active Citizenship Network participated at the International Symposium on Sustainability on 16-17 October 2014 held at the Venice International University. Read more

Free Guides for Citizens

Download a short guide on local public transport “5 tips for getting around town” (EN-IT-ES).

Download a short guide on waste services “5 tips to keep your city clean” (EN- IT- ES).

Download a short guide on water as a common good “5 tips for water as a common resource” (EN-IT-ES).

Download the guide on public transportation (IT version).

Download the guide on the public services for the children (IT version).


March 16-17, 2015 in Madrid (Spain): 10th Anniversary of the Spanish Forum of Patients
The Spanish Forum of Patients celebrates its 10th anniversary with a conference entitled "The Future of Patient Organisations". Major  European civic networks that deal with health will participate at the event. The European Network of Cittadinanzattiva, Active Citizenship Network, will speak in the conference bringing its expertise in creating civic networks at national and European levels. To download the program click here (Spanish version).
The Spanish Forum of Patients brings together 29 patient organizations working nationally and over 1,000 associations working  locally. It is directed by Maria Dolors Navarro, professor at the International University of Catalonia. To learn more, click here (page in Spanish).

March 19-20, 2015 in Riga (Latvia): International Conference on Chronic Diseases
The European Network of Cittadinanzattiva, Active Citizenship Network, will speak at the conference entitled "Chronic Diseases Pose a Challenge to 21st Century Europe: Patient`s Perspective and Economic Activity". The event is promoted by the Latvian Presidency of the Council of the European Union and is organized by three major Latvian patient associations: Latvian Cancer Patient Support Society, Pulmonary Hypertension Society and Patient Ombudsman. To learn more, click here.
The conference aims to promote collaboration between civic organizations and patients, professionals and decision-makers at the European level. Starting with the identification of the problems and for the reintegration of chronic patients in the socioeconomic life, it will follow with the proposals to be submitted to:  the European Commission, European Parliament, Presidency of the Council of the European Union and the governments of the EU Member States.
For the occasion, Active Citizenship Network will present the Manifesto in terms of patient empowerment with chronic disease, promoted and signed by dozens of associations for the eigth edition of the European Day for Patients' Rights. To learn more, click here.

May 12, 2015 in Brussels (Belgium): 9th European Patients' Rights Day
Active Citizenship Network has decided to dedicate the 9th celebration of the European Patients’ Rights Day 2015 (launched by ACN in 2003) to the sustainability of healthcare systems focusing on what concerns chronic diseases.
The debate will focus on different but complementary main aspects such as the responsibility of different actors involved in sustainable healthcare systems and the role of prevention and innovation. Read more


Director and Editor in chief: Mariano Votta
Editors: Daniela Quaggia & Renesa Islam
Coordination and Production: Giacomo D'Orazio 
We thank "Expert network EU4U" for collaboration

To contribute, plase write to: mail@activecitizenship.net
Active Citizenship Network c.o. Cittadinanzattiva - Via Cereate 6 - 00183 Roma - Tel. +39 6 367181 - Fax +39 6 36718333