Els Bruggeman is a leading consumer cluster that gathers five national consumer organisations: Test Achats (Belgium), Altroconsumo (Italy), OCU (Spain), Deco Proteste (Porugal) and Proteste (Brazil). Together they represent almost one and a half million consumers. Els is responsible for all policy related issues, with a specific focus on digital and sustainability, and has also coordinated joint enforcement cases, e.g. the class actions against Volkswagen (Dieselgate) and Apple (premature obsolescence) that were launched in Belgium, Italy, Spain and Portugal.
Els joined the consumer movement in 2014 when she started working as EU Public Affairs advisor for the Belgian consumer organisation Test Achats/Test Aankoop. Before she was active for more than 10 years in the political world, both as policy advisor and spokesperson i.a. for the Belgian minister of consumer protection.
Els Bruggeman has master degrees in both History and Law, and Advanced Masters in International Politics and Conflict & Development Studies. She is a member of the Executive Board of BEUC (European umbrella organization for consumers).
The Global Class Actions and Mass Torts Conference is a prestigious international event that focuses on the concept of collective redress, which refers to legal mechanisms that allow a large group of individuals who have suffered similar harm or injury to pursue their claims together as a single entity.