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Unione Nazionale Consumatori Umbria (UNCU) is the most active consumer association in Umbria and federated to the first consumer association in Italy. Its main objective is the protection and representation of citizens in general but in particular consumers by proposing new laws, offering assistance, information, training and guidance. At the same time, UNCU is an important channel of communication thanks to our National Consumer Council membership at the Ministry of the Economy, sponsored by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labour.The many years of experience have allowed UNCU to participate in various projects, both as coordinators and partners, in the Italian and European context.We asked Mr. Damiano Marinelli, President of UNCU, a few questions.ACR+: Why have you joined ACR+, what are your expectations regarding your membership to the network?D.M.: We are pleased to be part of the ACR+ networkbecause the inter-regional and international collaborative approach we work with opens us up to new experiences and knowledge that can only benefit and enrich us both professionally and personally.Collaboration can lead to great results, especially if you have the same values and common goals. The issues we deal with and with which we want to make a difference and real healthy and sustainable change can only be impactful and incisive if they are shared and spread. We would also like to create contacts to present funded projects.ACR+: How do you cooperate with local and regional authorities?D.M.: We are a social promotion association registered in the list of the Umbria Region ex l.r.17/2014, Transparency Register EU No 734603432102-03.We are also members of the European Commission as an Italian consumer association and members of Customers' International, the Customers' Forum and the Centre for Legal Studies on Customer Rights. Our activities also have the recent patronage of the Senate of the Italian Republic.In our Region we collaborate with public authorities such as the Region of Umbria, the Province of Perugia, the Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Crafts and Agriculture, educational institutions and various Umbrian municipalities and we have organized numerous training conferences and activities for the territory. We collaborate with schools and Italian universities too.We have the possibility of activating relationships for projects with all the public authorities in the area, which indeed we already do (with the Umbria Region, various municipalities in the area, the provinces of Terni and Perugia), as well as other institutions, such as the university, the mediation school, the CCIAA, schools in the area, training bodies and other associations.ACR+: We have seen that you are partner in the Horizon 2020 project HOME (uppet.eu) upPE-T. What is your role in the project?D.M.: upPE-T - upcycling of Polyethylene (PE) and Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) wastes to generate biodegradable bioplastics for food and drink packaging – aims to explore an innovative solution for the upcycling of PE and PET post-consumer packaging wastes by transforming them into a range of biodegradable & recyclable bioplastics (PHBVs) for food & drink packaging manufacturing.As a partner, we are conducting market research to assess the behaviour of consumers in three pilot countries (Finland, Italy and Serbia) and to ascertain their level of knowledge and awareness of all the issues involved. In addition, we are creating a MOOC for European citizens that will provide crucial information for the implementation of shared good practices.ACR+: Any other project on which you are working that you would like to share with us?D.M.: One project we are pursuing is the development of an e-point for citizens, where they can receive information and training of all kinds from our many experts covering several professional areas.

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