On Wednesday, 9th of November 2011 the European Commission adopted proposals for a new Consumer Programm. The programm will run from 2014 until 2020 with a budget of 197 million Euro. The objective of the programme is to place consumers at the center of the Single Market and empower them to participate actively in the market and make it work for them.
The programme aims to build on the previous programmes by focussing action on empowerment of the consumers through safety, information and education, rights and redress and enforcement actions. Measures include:
- Monitoring and enforcing safety through EU-wide systems such as RAPEX, the EU rapid alert system for dangerous consumer products.
- Information and education initiatives to make consumers, particularly young consumers, aware of their rights. This includes also the continuing development of the evidence base for better policy making at both EU and national level on consumer issues, with, for example, the Consumer Markets Scoreboard which maps out the markets that fail consumers in Europe.
- Delivering legislation aimed at enhancing consumer rights, for example the Consumer Credit Directive which ensures that consumers across Europe enjoy a common set of core rights, including the right to receive clear and comparable information before committing themselves financially; and Redress, where good preparatory work has been done, particularly, on Alternative Dispute Resolution.
- Enforcement action through "Sweeps" operations, which are co-ordinated by the European Commission and carried out simultaneously by national consumer enforcement authorities to see where consumer rights are being compromised or denied.
The proposal will now be discussed by the European Parliament and Council of Ministers, with a view to adoption by the end of 2013, to allow for the start of the new health and consumer programmes in 2014.
Further information: http://europa.eu/rapid/pressReleasesAction.do?reference=IP/11/1317
Source: European Commission