Consumer Policy (DG V)
The main focus of Directorate-General V (Consumer Policy) is on protecting the interests of consumers in the legal and commercial spheres. Top priorities include the areas of consumer policy relating to the information society, financial services, the energy and transport sectors, and the health and social service sectors.
Alongside these substantive aspects, further key areas include consumer information, consumer awareness, consumer research, and the enforcement of consumer protection. Directorate-General V has overall responsibility for the EC Consumer Protection Implementing Act, the Consumer Policy Report, and the Act for the Improvement of Health-related Consumer Information (Verbraucherinformationsgesetz, VIG) insofar as this impacts on matters of consumer protection in the marketplace. In addition, Directorate- General V is responsible for Germany's main product testing organisation (Stiftung Warentest) and for the Federation of German Consumer Organisations (Verbraucherzentrale Bundesverband).
Through membership in international organisations, Directorate-General V is able to foster worldwide contacts in the field of consumer policy. Based within Directorate-General V is the Ministry's Research Representative who is responsible in particular for coordinating the Ministry's research activities, the Federal Government's research programmes, and the European Research Framework Programmes. Beyond that, Directorate- General V deals with issues of sustainability, corporate social responsibility, civil society, and demographics.