Today the European Commission adopted a strategic vision for EU consumer policy for the years to come. It aims at maximizing consumer participation and trust in the market.
To achieve this objective:
- Consumer safety for goods, services and food should be reinforced by strengthening the regulatory framework and making market surveillance more efficient.
- Knowledge should be enhanced so that consumers can cope with the increasing complexity of markets.
- Enforcement should be improved and redress secured because rights cannot exist in practice without enforcement and effective redress.
- Policy should be aligned to societal change and it should be made relevant to daily life. This means, in particular to adapt consumer law to the digital age and tackle problems consumers face online; to factor in the needs of vulnerable consumers; to make sustainable choices easy.
Five key sectors where identified for intervention
- Food: to ensure sustainability and safety.
- Energy: so that consumers can get the best value for money in the liberalised market and better manage their energy consumption.
- Financial: to protect consumers' financial interests and give them the tools to manage their finances.
- Transport: to adapt legislation to modern patterns of travel and to support sustainable mobility.
- Digital: with a view to tackling problems faced by consumers and ensuring their protection online.
Viviane Reding, Commission Vice-President and the EU's Justice Commissioner explained: "Growth in the European Union needs both competitive supply and strong demand. Consumers therefore must be as much centre stage of EU policies as businesses. We need confident consumers to drive forward the European economy". Health and Consumer policy Commissioner John Dalli argued: "The strategy adopted today aims to empower consumers and build their confidence by giving them the tools to participate actively in the market, to make it work for them, to exercise their power of choice and to have their rights properly enforced."
Source: European Commission