Consumer participation and Regulation process

Over the past three decades the main infrastructure industries are becoming significantly liberalized. Market liberalization is a complex process and many challenges are emerging. One of them is related to consumer participation as democratization of the regulatory process. The new governance paradigm stresses the importance of the involvement of all stakeholders in regulatory decision making. Democratisation of the regulation of infrastructures assumes a regular dialogue between users, service providers, professional organisations and the Government. Mechanisms should be put in place in order to ensure that collective interests of consumers as end users are adequately represented in the decision-making fora where consumer concerns may actually be discussed and decided upon.

This issue aims to provide a framework for understanding the conceptual basis and a range of strategies for consumer participation in regulation of selected infrastructures and financial services.