Consumer Policy in the EU
Latest news on the consumer policies of the European Union.
- EU drops mooted ban on olive oil in jugs in restaurants — 23 May 2013, 16:06 CET
The European Commission withdrew on Thursday a planned ban on restaurants serving olive oil in jugs on diners' tables pending consultations with the industry and consumers.
- Consumer safety: RAPEX in 2012 — 16 May 2013, 15:22 CET
In 2012, a total of 2,278 measures against dangerous non-food products, were taken by EU Member States and reported in the EU Rapid Information system (RAPEX). This indicates a 26% rise in alerts when compared to 2011 figures, an increase that could be attributed to the improved enforcement work carried out by the authorities in EU countries.
RAPEX is the EU rapid alert system between Member States and the Commission on non-food products. Its role is to disseminate information quickly on potentially dangerous consumer products. This allows for earlier identification and earlier removal from EU markets of products that could pose a risk to consumers, such as children's clothing, textiles and electrical appliances which do not meet safety standards.
- Small euro coins may be dropped — 14 May 2013, 17:00 CET
Small change in the euro, one and two-cent coins, expensive to make and
a nuisance for many, may have no future, the European Commission said
- EU outlines draft for bank accounts open to all — 09 May 2013, 13:30 CET
The European Commission outlined on Wednesday plans to ensure all EU citizens can access banking services that would have to become more transparent and user-friendly.
- Proposal for a Directive on Payment Accounts — 08 May 2013, 18:17 CET
The European Commission publishes today a proposal for a Directive on the transparency and comparability of payment account fees, payment account switching and access to a basic payment account. Bank accounts are now an essential part of everyday life, allowing us to make and receive payments, shop online, and pay utility bills (telephone, gas, electricity). European citizens are consequently not able to fully participate in society without a basic bank account.
- EU pushes for universal bank account access — 07 May 2013, 10:57 CET
The Commission is to set out plans for universal access to current accounts with banks -- seeking to remedy an exclusion that Brussels calculates affects nearly 60 million adults across the European Union.
- Euro-MPs reject mining of air passenger data — 25 April 2013, 12:39 CET
Euro-MPs in committee on Wednesday rejected plans to allow European air passenger data to be used to fight against organised crime and terrorism.
- EU launches probe into suspected chip maker cartel — 22 April 2013, 13:51 CET
EU anti-trust authorities have announced a formal cartel probe into smartcard chip makers -- the motors for everything from bank and mobile SIM cards to electronic ID papers, after talks aimed at securing a settlement broke down.
- — 19 March 2013, 15:57 CET
The European Consumer Centres work together to analyse consumer issues in Europe, based on the complaints they handle in the national centres.
Every year, they collaborate to analyse the state of play for the most popular or problematic consumer topics and publish their findings in their consumer reports.
The aim is to offer consumers practical information – a buyers’ guide to help them compare products and services in Europe and avoid common problems.
- — 19 March 2013, 15:54 CET
Council Regulation 861/2007 of 11 July 2007 establishing a European Small Claims Procedure seeks to improve and simplify procedures in civil and commercial matters where the value of a claim does not exceed EUR 2,000.
The Regulation applies between all Member States of the European Union with the exception of Denmark.
The Small claims procedure operates on the basis of standard forms. It is a written procedure unless an oral hearing is considered necessary by the court.
The Regulation also establishes time limits for the parties and for the court in order to speed up litigation.
The Regulation provides for four standard forms.
You can complete these forms online by clicking one of the links.
- Marketing scams: action against unfair commercial practices — 14 March 2013, 22:52 CET
The European Commission has outlined a series of actions to tackle aggressive commercial practices across the EU such as fake 'free' offers, 'bait and switch' advertising for products which cannot be supplied, and exhortation of children. Five years after it entered into force, the Commission reviewed the application of the Unfair Commercial Practices Directive and announced plans to step up enforcement of the rules to increase citizens' trust when shopping in Europe's internal market.
- Stranded airport passengers to win new rights from EU — 14 March 2013, 10:46 CET
Passengers left stranded in airports by delays and cancellations are set to win new rights to food, water, compensation and fresh flights under a package of measures unveiled by the Commission.
- Alternative Dispute Resolution and Online Dispute Resolution — 12 March 2013, 16:55 CET
EU shoppers will have easier access to rapid, cheap and impartial mediation in disputes with traders over goods or services thanks to two new laws voted in by the European Parliament on 12 March. They aim to help shoppers to avoid long and costly court cases, especially over on-line or cross-border purchases.
The new rules on Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) and Online Dispute Resolution (ODR), aim to step up the use of ADR schemes in the EU by giving shoppers a fast, cheap and informal way to settle disputes with traders as an alternative to often lengthy court proceedings.
- Broadcasters win EU court block on Internet streaming — 08 March 2013, 22:35 CET
Television broadcasters won a significant battle Thursday when the European Court of Justice said they can block Internet platforms from streaming their output on the web.
- EU business, consumer confidence picks up again — 27 February 2013, 12:28 CET
EU business and consumer confidence improved for a fourth consecutive month in February, official data showed Wednesday, even as the outlook remained uncertain.
- Product Safety and Market Surveillance Package 2013 — 13 February 2013, 19:16 CET
The European Commission has proposed new rules to improve the safety of consumer products circulating in the Single Market and to step-up market surveillance concerning all non-food products, including those imported from 3rd countries. It says this will contribute both to strengthening consumer protection and to creating a level playing field for businesses. Unsafe products should not reach consumers or other users and their improved identification and traceability will be a key improvement that will help to take them quickly out of the market. Once adopted by the European Parliament and by the Council the new rules will be enforced by the national market surveillance authorities in the Member States which will benefit from strengthened cooperation and enhanced tools to carry out controls.
The two legislative proposals are complemented by a multi-annual plan for market surveillance setting out 20 concrete actions to be undertaken from now to 2015 to improve market surveillance under the current regulatory framework and until the new rules come into effect.
- EU urges two-year ban on 'disturbing' bee insecticides — 01 February 2013, 12:42 CET
The EU has urged national governments to ban pesticides deemed dangerous to bees in a bid to prevent a disastrous collapse in colony numbers for an insect considered vital to the food chain.
- Court orders Ryanair to cough up for volcano chaos — 31 January 2013, 16:42 CET
The European Court of Justice Thursday ordered Irish airline Ryanair to
compensate passengers whose travel plans were thrown into chaos by the
2010 eruption of an Icelandic volcano, in a ruling with implications for
the entire industry.
- Ryanair ordered to cough up for volcano chaos — 31 January 2013, 16:20 CET
The European Court of Justice on Thursday ordered the Irish airline Ryanair to compensate passengers whose travel plans were thrown into chaos by the 2010 eruption of an Icelandic volcano.
- Eurozone, EU economic confidence firms — 31 January 2013, 12:26 CET
Clouds of economic gloom across the eurozone lifted Wednesday, as analysts hailed tentative signs of recovery with latest Commission data showing rising optimism among business leaders and consumers.
- Iceland didn't have to repay Dutch, UK savers: court — 28 January 2013, 20:38 CET
Iceland was entitled to refuse to pay immediate deposit guarantees to savers at failed online bank Icesave in Britain and the Netherlands, a European court said Monday.
- Europe's tobacconists march against EU smoking crackdown — 22 January 2013, 22:26 CET
Thousands of tobacconists from across Europe marched on European Union headquarters on Tuesday to protest against a planned EU crackdown on smoking that includes gruesome health warnings on packets.
- Airlines turn profit from EU freeze on carbon tax — 23 January 2013, 10:56 CET
Airlines made up to half a billion euros in windfall profits last year by passing on a carbon surcharge to travellers despite an EU decision to freeze its controversial carbon tax, say environmentalists.
- New European driving licence hits the road from Saturday — 17 January 2013, 16:15 CET
A new European driving licence first agreed seven years ago by EU governments, finally takes to the roads across the continent on Saturday, says the Commission.
- MEPs take airlines to task over hand luggage — 17 January 2013, 16:14 CET
Too big, too heavy, too many -- European travellers are being taken for a ride by airlines charging what they like for carry-on baggage and the EU should standardise the rules, MEPs said Thursday.