The holiday season is here!

But worry not – even though most of you may be surviving the glitzy office parties and shuffling your feet in the cold streets, we’re keeping the fire of consumer choice burning as 2019 winds down.

We at CCC are quite toasty, as we just returned from our annual staff retreat in Miami. We usually meet in various cafes in Brussels, but the warm weather and opportunity to protest at an NBA game was too precious – more on that later.

Here’s a break down of everything our team has been up to since our last message.

Calling all those interested in #LegalReform!

Yes indeed – earlier this year, the Consumer Choice Center launched a campaign to reform the tort law system in the United States. Why you may be asking?

It’s simple. Abuse in tort law has led to massive harm for consumers and citizens, resulting in bogus lawsuits and payouts that lead to higher costs to both taxpayers and consumers. It’s the United States of AMERICA, not the United States of LAWSUITS.

We believe there should be just as much focus on legal reform when it comes to tort law as criminal justice. Both are vital.

My colleague David Clement was published on this theme in the Journal Star, and I’ve had my share of articles in Houma Today and the Daily Comet in Louisiana, and we even praised comedian John Oliver for his embrace of legal reform.

On that same path, our science video on IARC has racked up a quarter of a million views thus far. Who knew there was such thirst for unmasking of the myriad of problems that come with an international agency colluding with lawyers and “science consultants” for big lawsuits?

You’ll find more at time4legalreform.org.

Hey, remember when we said California’s gig economy law would hurt contractors and consumers, the very people it was purported to help? It’s already happening. It seems California’s efforts are backfiring faster than we could predict.

And for another “told you so” moment, we’re now celebrating two years since the repeal of Net Neutrality. Remember how it was supposed to be doomsday? It turns out, the Internet is better than ever! Thankfully, your CCC was on the case.

21 Democracy

Our next update is a biggie. This morning, we officially launched 21Democracy, a new project that aims to counter the growth of authoritarianism internationally.

My colleagues Fred Roder, Luca Bertoletti, and I were published in Politico EU with this message, as well as La Tribune in France. Europe needs smart policies if it wants to combat authoritarian regimes.

We know full well that authoritarian regimes have a negative impact on consumers and consumer choice. That’s why we must support liberal democracies like HONG KONG!

In usual provocative form, we joined our friends at Students For Liberty at the Atlanta Hawks vs. Miami Heat basketball game donning FREE HONG KONG shirts and throwing out chants between baskets.

It’s no secret the NBA has been toeing the line on criticism of China, notably censoring or silencing players and coaches who support the Hong Kong protests. We Stand With Hong Kong, and so should everyone who believes in liberal democracies.

European Parliament Intergroup

But what about Europe? Here is the Christmas presents for all of you who loves Innovation the consumer choice center is happy to announce that in collaboration with leading MEPs such as Gianna Gancia, Jan Zahradil, Massimiliano Salini, Patrizia Toia, and many others we put together a new group of MEPs named “IP, Innovation and Brands: The Future of Europe”. For the next 4 years, you can be sure we will work together to make sure Europe will have a great future.

Consumer choice in Davos? Yes, please!

We’re returning to the Swiss Alps, the same time as the World Economic Forum.  We’ll host our Second Annual Cannabis Conclave high in the sky to fuel the debate over the legalization and decriminalization of cannabis globally. We’ve got A-list speakers and participants, and we’d love to have you there as well. Respond to this email if you’re interested in attending.

21Democracy will also host a private Davos dinner for chosen participants. Respond if you’d like to be there.

More Free Trade!

Exactly what else have we been following that’s been lost in the headlines? How about the free trade agreement between the European Union and Mercosur.

There are untold benefits that would come from such a deal, and consumers on both continents would be winners. More info in this delectable infographic for your consumption.

Open Letter to the European Commission

And speaking of Europe, there’s a new Executive Vice President of the Commission in town, the familiar Frans Timmermans. 

Our Fred Roeder penned an open letter to Timmermans earlier this month, calling for a climate policy that will help consumers.

Our recommendations:

  • Recognise and embrace the possibilities to reduce carbon emissions by nuclear power.
  • Stay technology-neutral and create a fair and equitable environment in which innovators can continue to innovate and compete on the same terms; do not pick winners and losers ahead of time.
  • Do not burden consumers with new taxes on energy.

Some greatest hits

Bill Wirtz is a writing machine and the hits keep on coming. 

He’s published on agroecology in French and German, and was even able to squeeze in a speech in Ankara, Turkey on the potentials for 5G technology and cybersecurity.

Keep in mind the year is ending, and we’d love your support in our Christmas stockings.

If you believe in our message, consider donating or becoming a full-fledged member of the Consumer Choice Center so we can continue our important work.

Catch you in the New Year,

Yaël Ossowski

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