Consumer education

Improving consumers’ skills

Citizens need to be provided with new educational services so that they are better equipped for their day-to-day life as consumers. The best way to do this? Start with children and young people: Consumer education means communicating everyday knowledge in theoretical and applied form and shedding light on the increasingly dense jungle of consumption, the media and the financial sector. This works best if these topics are a compulsory part of school education.

Vera Fricke

Dr. Vera Fricke

Team Leader Consumer Education

Dörte Adam-Gutsch

Dörte Adam-Gutsch

Consultant Education “Consumer Checker”

Portrait Janin Hartmann

Janin Hartmann

Policy Officer Team Consumer Education

Anke Wolf

Anke Wolf

Policy Officer "Consumer School", Team Consumer Education

Florence Ziesemer

Florence Ziesemer

Policy Officer Project "Verbraucherchecker"

Digital & Media

Fostering new roles for consumers

As digital communication and services are extending into ever more areas of life, it is important that people’s privacy is protected and digital content is freely accessible to all. We are committed to ensuring that net neutrality takes precedence over individual companies’ desire for profits, now and in the future, and that copyright law is reformed. The internet is not shaped by national borders. However, international data transfers must comply with the provisions of German consumer protection legislation.

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Lina Ehrig

Team Leader Digital and Media

Miika Blinn

Miika Blinn

Policy Officer Team Digital and Media

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Susanne Blohm

Policy Officer Team Digital and Media

Florian Glatzner, Referent Team Digitales und Medien

Florian Glatzner

Policy Officer Team Digital and Media

Katharina Korczok Portrait

Katharina Korczok

Policy Officer Digital and Media

Martin Madej, Referent Team Digitales und Medien

Martin Madej

Policy Officer Team Digital and Media

Energy & construction

Boosting efficiency, limiting costs

Consumers support the energy transition but criticise the way it is put into practice – and this criticism is primarily aimed at its high costs, with an average four-person household spending a hefty 95 percent more each year on electricity than at the turn of the millennium. This represents a growing burden, particularly for people on low incomes. We are committed to capping the costs of the energy transition, distributing them fairly and supporting measures to improve energy efficiency.

Thomas Engelke - Leiter Team Energie und Bauen des Verbraucherzentrale Bundesverbands

Thomas Engelke

Team Leader Energy and Construction

Patrick Biegon

Patrick Biegon

Policy Officer Team Energy and Construction

Henning Herbst

Henning Herbst

Policy Officer Team Energy and Construction

Florian Munder

Florian Munder

Policy Officer Team Energy and Construction

Europe

For a consumer-friendly European Single Market

Consumer demand represents a substantial pillar of the European economy. Consumers have borne the many burdens of the European financial crisis and the public debt crisis. As a result, their interests should be at the heart of European Single Market policy and harmonisation efforts. When it comes to negotiating free trade agreements, we are committed to upholding tried-and-trusted consumer protection standards, particularly the EU precautionary principle.

Isabelle Buscke

Isabelle Buscke

Head of Brussels Office

Thomas Bobinger, Referent Team Brüssel

Thomas Bobinger

Policy Officer Brussels Office

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Martina Frantik

Policy Officer Brussels Office

Portrait Ann-Katrin Hamacher, Referentin Team Brüssel

Ann-Katrin Hamacher

Policy Officer International Trade Policy

Financial markets

Defending consumers’ interests in financial markets

Efficient, consumer-friendly financial products, sound and independent advice, and well-functioning, consumer-focused supervision of the financial markets: these are our goals for consumer protection in the financial sector. However, consumers’ interests are still being neglected when it comes to monitoring and designing regulation for the financial markets. This is why financial markets must be reformed further.

Dorothea Mohn - Leiterin Team Finanzmarkt des Verbraucherzentrale Bundesverbands

Dorothea Mohn

Team Leader Financial Markets

Christian Ahlers

Christian Ahlers

Policy Officer Team Financial Markets

Lars Gatschke

Lars Gatschke

Policy Officer Team Financial Markets

Johannes Müller

Johannes Müller

Policy Officer Team Financial Markets

Claudio Zeitz-Brandmeyer

Claudio Zeitz-Brandmeyer

Policy Officer Team Financial Markets

Food

More clarity and truth about food

Misrepresentation, inadequate checks, low quality standards: time and again, negligence and greed for profit lead to scandals in the food industry. Consumers want healthy food that they can afford. This is why we call for end-to-end documentation of production and processing, as well as clear, accurate labelling of goods. What is contained in the food must also be written on the label. What is written on the label must also be contained in the food. Finally, the label needs to be easy to understand.

Christiane Seidel, Referentin Team Lebensmittel

Christiane Seidel

Team Leader Food

Anne Markwardt, Leiterin Team Lebensmittel des Verbraucherzentrale Bundesverbands (vzbv)

Anne Markwardt

Team Leader Food (on parental leave)

Portrait Jochen Geilenkirchen

Jochen Geilenkirchen

Policy Officer Sustainable Consumption

Jutta Jaksche

Jutta Jaksche

Policy Officer Team Food

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Carolin Krieger

Policy Officer Team Food

Stephanie Wetzel, Projektkoordinatorin Lebensmittelklarheit

Stephanie Wetzel

Project Coordinator "Food Transparency"

Health care

Guaranteeing secure treatment

Consumers are entitled to appropriate medical treatment and dignified care. They should return to health – and stay healthy. The quality of treatment and patient safety need to be on an equal footing with the interest in limiting expenditure.

Thomas Moormann

Thomas Moormann

Team Leader Health Care

Susanne Mauersberg

Susanne Mauersberg

Policy Officer Team Health Care

Christiane Rock, Referentin Team Gesundheit und Pflege

Christiane Rock

Policy Officer Team Health Care

Dr. Sylwia Timm

Dr. Sylwia Timm

Policy Officer Team Health Care

Legal affairs & trade

Equal opportunities for consumers and companies

We campaign for equal opportunities for consumers and companies. Consumer rights need to be adapted to take new developments into account, such as the increase in the international transport of goods and services, or digitalisation. Consumers need to have a fair chance to exercise and enforce these rights, such as when exercising their right to legal guarantees or information rights.

Felix Methmann

Felix Methmann

Team Leader Legal Affairs and Trade

Dietlinde Bleh - Referentin Team Recht und Handel

Dietlinde Bleh

Policy Officer Team Legal Affairs and Trade

Stefanie Grunert

Stefanie Grunert

Policy Officer Team Legal Affairs and Trade

Roland Stuhr

Roland Stuhr

Policy Officer Team Legal Affairs and Trade

Litigation

Enforcing the law, empowering consumers

Hardly any consumer has the financial means or the time to engage in a lengthy and costly legal dispute over a defective product or service. As a result, consumer rights often remain without resounding success. After all, it requires a plaintiff to enforce the applicable legal provisions in court. vzbv takes on this task as one of the organisations in Germany with the right to take legal action, known in law as “standing”. While individual consumers may not be able to fight back, 80 million of them certainly can.

Heiko Dünkel, Leiter Team Rechtsdurchsetzung beim Verbraucherzentrale Bundesverband

Heiko Dünkel

Team Leader Litigation

David Bode

David Bode

Policy Officer Team Litigation

Jana Brockfeld Referentin Team Rechtsdurchsetzung

Jana Brockfeld

Policy Officer Team Litigation

Kerstin Hoppe

Kerstin Hoppe

Policy Officer Team Litigation

Susanne Einsiedler

Susanne Einsiedler

Policy Officer Team Litigation

Rosemarie Rodden

Rosemarie Rodden

Policy Officer Team Litigation

Ronny Jahn, Leiter Team Musterfeststellungsklagen

Ronny Jahn

Team Leader Collective Redress

Henning Fischer, Referent Team Musterfeststellungsklagen

Henning Fischer

Policy Officer Team Collective Redress

Patrick Langer

Patrick Langer

Policy Officer Team Collective Redress

Sebastian Reiling, Referent Team Musterfeststellungsklagen

Sebastian Reiling

Policy Officer Team Collective Redress

Market monitoring

Consumer protection needs a consumer perspective

With its market monitoring, vzbv scrutinises markets in the fields of digital services, energy and financial services. For a comprehensive assessment, it is necessary to look at the real market situation as consumers experience it. Specialist teams for the three topic areas along with the quality assurance team systematically evaluate consumer complaints from across Germany. In 2020 vzbv received more than 616,000 enquiries and complaints. On this basis, the teams can identify undesirable systematic developments and deficiencies at an early stage and protect consumers in a faster and more targeted manner.

Sven Scharioth, Leiter Geschäftsbereich Marktbeobachtung. Foto: vzbv - Gert Baumbach

Sven Scharioth

Director Market Monitoring

Dennis-Romberg-Kontakt

Dr. Dennis Romberg

Team Leader Monitoring Digital Markets

Lucas Auer

Lucas Auer

Policy Officer Team Monitoring Digital Markets

Carola Elbrecht, Referentin Team Marktbeobachtung Digitales

Carola Elbrecht

Policy Officer Team Monitoring Digital Markets

Peter Gerlicher Kontakt

Peter Gerlicher

Policy Officer Team Monitoring Digital Markets

Sandra Krüger

Sandra Krüger

Consumer interests in the e-health sector

Portrait Dorle Martischewsky

Dorle Martischewsky

Consumer interests in the e-health sector

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Lars Schmidtke

Policy Officer Team Monitoring Digital Markets

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Kathrin Steinbach

Policy Officer Team Monitoring Digital Markets

Sabrina Wagner, Verbraucherzentrale Bundesverband

Sabrina Wagner

Policy Officer Team Monitoring Digital Markets

Svenja Gesemann, Leiterin Team Marktbeobachtung Energie

Svenja Gesemann

Team Leader Monitoring Energy Markets

Pressebild Marie Barz

Marie Barz

Policy Officer Team Monitoring Energy Markets

Sabine Lund

Sabine Lund

Policy Officer Team Monitoring Energy Markets

Roland Scharathow

Roland Scharathow

Policy Officer Team Monitoring Energy Markets

Fabian Tief

Fabian Tief

Policy Officer Team Monitoring Energy Markets

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Dorina Wilhelm

Team Lead Monitoring Financial Markets

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Sebastian Brand

Policy Officer Team Monitoring Financial Markets

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Dr. Heiko Fürst

Policy Officer Team Monitoring Financial Markets

Meryem Osanmaz

Meryem Osanmaz

Policy Officer Team Monitoring Financial Markets

Frank-Christian Pauli

Frank-Christian Pauli

Policy Officer Team Monitoring Financial Markets

Jörn Rehren Kontakt

Jörn Rehren

Policy Officer Team Monitoring Financial Markets

Mobility & travel

Shaping the mobility of tomorrow

Mobility is a core component of efforts to increase energy efficiency and protect the climate. Good, reliable public transport and the switch to zero-carbon, sustainable energy sources for cars are crucial aspects of this. Digitalisation gives rise to new opportunities to ensure mobility with less input in terms of energy, materials and costs. The data protection risks associated with the increased use of digital technologies, however, need to be limited.

Marion Jungbluth - Leiterin Team Mobilität und Reisen des Verbraucherzentrale Bundesverbands

Marion Jungbluth

Team Leader Mobility and Travel

Gregor Kolbe

Gregor Kolbe

Policy Officer Team Mobility and Travel

N.N.

Policy Officer Team Mobility and Travel

Stephanie Weller

Stephanie Weller

Project Officer "Low Emission Transport"

Policy

Investigate, intervene, lead the way

Consumer policy is closer to citizens than almost any other area of government, touching on the realities of consumers’ lives. It needs to be designed in such a way that it enables people to assert their rights: consumer policy at the heart of all policy-making.

Jutta Gurkmann

Jutta Gurkmann

Director Consumer Policy

Michaela Schröder

Michaela Schröder

Director Consumer Policy

Henrik Fork-Weigel, Leiter Team Vorstand

Henrik Fork-Weigel

Team Leader Executive Director

Jonathan Liebig, Referent Geschäftsbereich Verbraucherpolitik

Jonathan Liebig

Policy Officer Team Executive Officer

Daniela Lucassen, Geschäftsführerin Deutsche Stiftung Verbraucherschutz

Daniela Lucassen

Policy Officer Strategy Team Exexutive Director

Sustainability

Safe, non-toxic products and sustainable waste disposal

Consumers want safe, eco-friendly products. We are committed to ensuring that the impact products have on our health and the environment are minimised – from manufacturing the product right through to its disposal. Rules for separating waste need to be clear and simple to ensure consumers play their part in supporting the waste disposal system.

Portrait Jochen Geilenkirchen

Jochen Geilenkirchen

Policy Officer Sustainable Consumption

Elke Salzmann

Elke Salzmann

Policy Officer Ressource Efficiency, Team Mobility and Travel