“Unione Nazionale Consumatori” (National Consumer Union), hereafter UNC, is the oldest consumer association in Italy. It was founded in 1955 by Vincenzo Dona (1930-2006), who has been publicly recognized as the founder of the Italian Consumer Movement.
UNC is completely independent from political parties and trade-unions and works exclusively on behalf of consumers, protecting and representing them by means of formulating law and regulation proposals and providing assistance, advice, information and education activities.
UNC is member of the National Council of Consumers and Users (CNCU), set up within the Italian Ministry of Economic Development, and it is a social promotion Association approved by the Italian Ministry of Labor and Social Policy. Moreover, UNC is officially notified to the European Commission as Consumer Association in Italy.
UNC is member of Consumers International, Consumers’ Forum and the Center for Legal Studies on Consumer Rights. In addition, UNC Secretary General, Massimiliano Dona, is the Italian representative in the European Consumer Consultative Group (ECCG) at the European Commission.
OFFICES: UNC’s headquarters are located in Rome, Via Duilio 13 (See Map), where about 30 experts and consultants work. In addition, over 150 local offices are located in more than 150 towns throughout the national territory, covering all Italian Regions (See our “Where we are” section). These local offices are mainly run by volunteers.
ACHIEVEMENTS: thanks to UNC’s activity over more than 50 years, the first Italian laws on consumer protection have been passed (e.g. the laws on net weights, on food safety, on the classification of textiles and on household appliances and electrical equipment) until the recent class-action provisions (art. 140-bis of the Italian Consumer Code). It’s just thanks to UNC that in 2013 a national court (the Court of Naples) issued a landmark decision on class-action, making the case the first successful private class-action in Italy.
FUNDING: the Italian law has never foreseen any government funding provision in favor of Consumer Associations (perhaps the only such case in Europe). Therefore, our funding comes from members fees as well as from project grants at European and national level.