The ECDN brings together a broad range of actors from all over Europe in the fight against and prevention of over-indebtedness and promoting financial inclusion, which are active in: 1). debt advice/debt regulation, 2). financial literacy programs and projects, 3). development and provision of adequate financial services for excluded people, and 4). research on over-indebtedness and financial inclusion. The network provides different platforms for information exchange and effective interaction on legal, economic, and social matters in the field of consumer debt and of financial resilience.
The ECDN is built up democratically and the governing body is the General Assembly, which consists of all active members. The General Assembly elects a Management Committee every four year whose job it is to run the day-to-day administration if the Association. The ECDN also has a secretary/treasurer who runs the economics, and a coordination office which handles and coordinates events, meetings and the annual meeting of the General Assembly.
Networking for financial inclusion:
- Raising public awareness and lobbying for integrated policies
- fighting financial exclusion and strengthening financial capabilities
- Expanding and guaranteeing financial services
- Improving debt settlement regulations
- Initiating research and tackling over-indebtedness
Promoting financial inclusion :
- Informing and influencing policies on national and European level
- Playing an active monitoring role
- Raising public awareness
- Increasing the dialogue between all actors and all levels of politics
- Encouraging development and implementation of various activities for promoting financial inclusion
The Gerneral Assembly is the highest organ og authority within ECDN; it consists of all active members of the ECDN.
The Managment Committee is the managment body of the ECDN. It is elected by the General Assembly from among the active memebers.
The Coordination office fulfils a number of tasks within the ECDN, this includes updating internal databases, members lists and much more!
History of the ECDN
In the 90’s the idea to develop a network of debt advisors and researchers to fight the increasing amount of debts in Europe was born. It was called ‘Consumer Debt Network’ (CDN), and organized conferences across Europe, and published ‘Money Matters’. The CDN was financially supported by the European Commission, the Nordic Council of Ministers and the Swedish Consumer Agency. When the European Commission stopped the funding the network unfortunately became a “sleeping beauty”.
A chance opened for the loose network to revitalize in 2005 when the European Commission made a call for tender concerning a project on financial access and financial education. Some of the former CDN-members joined together with a new partner from Poland and developed a project design. The proposal “Financial Education and Better Access to Adequate Financial Services” was accepted by the European Commission and the so-called FES-project started in September 2005 – and in 2007 ECDN was a reality.
The Founders of ECDN
The European Consumer Debt Network (ECDN) was founded in 2007 as a European civil society network by the following organisations:
- ASB Schuldnerberatungen GmbH, Austria
- GP Forschungsgruppe, Germany
- Guarantee Foundation, Finland
- L’Observatoire du Crédit et de l’Endettement (OCE), Belgium
- National Institute for Budget Information (NIBUD), The Netherlands
- Schuldnerfachberatungszentrum Mainz (SFZ-Mainz), Germany
- SOS-Consumer Defence Association, Czech Republic
- Society for Promotion of Financial Education (SKEF), Poland
We thank you all for your pioneer work on the debt area – and looking forward we hope to still work together on many projects, and of course to use your expertise and knowledge on the area to secure a more social and financially inclusive Europe!