BEUCVon der Leyen Commission Mid-term review – Consumer track record


The European Consumer Organisation

Mai 2022

The European Consumer Organisation, BEUC, Brüssel

When Ursula von der Leyen took over the reins of the European Commission in 2019, she built her tenure on six pillars. Two of them are central to give consumers the right environment to live well and healthily: The 'European Green Deal' and 'Europe fit for the digital age'. Since then, the Commission has indeed laid the foundations of this ‘twin transition’. It published its flagship Green Deal just a month after it was officially sworn in and rapidly followed on with a wave of digital proposals, such as the Digital Services Act, the Digital Markets Act, and the Artificial Intelligence Act. But these major projects should not overshadow the massive work also undertaken in other consumer-relevant areas, such as financial services, food and safety. Halfway through the von der Leyen Commission’s five-year term, the authors examine whether actions to date have been up to expectations from the consumer perspective. The overall assessment is that this Commission’s performance is good so far, with many positive actions and only a few issues requiring urgent fixing. The period has obviously been marked by unprecedented events in Europe. First, a pandemic, then spiralling energy prices, and now a war at our borders. For this reason, they have dedicated a section on how the Commission has reacted to the unforeseen. This is no time for the Commission to rest on its laurels. In the second half of its mandate, the Commission will still need to be the busy beehive it has been so far, and it is crucial that its ambitions remain high. That is why the authors have also put forward proposals that they hope the Commission will focus on during the remainder of its term. Last but not least, it is worth noting that in the EU decision-making process it takes three to tango. Because the European Parliament and Council also have their say, a good Commission proposal does not guarantee good outcomes. The authors count on the Commission to be assertive when negotiating with the other two institutions so the final pieces of legislation enhance benefits for consumers.

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