EU Consumer Policy Strategy26 August 2009
by inadim -- last modified 28 August 2009
On 13 March 2007 the European Commission adopted a Consumer Policy Strategy for 2007-2013. The strategy sets out the challenges, role, priorities and actions of EU consumer policy for this period.
Between November 2004 and September 2006, Consumer organisations have been consulted on various occasions to define the future priorities of consumer policy. In particular, at a workshop organized by the General assembly of Consumer organisations in Brussels (12-)13 November 2004), in the framework of the European Consultative Consumer Group (ECCG) (10 December 2004, 16 March 2005, 20 September 2006), and through bilateral hearings held with many national consumer organizations in January-February 2005 in Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Cyprus, Greece, Spain, Germany, Finland, France, Hungary, Ireland, Luxemburg, Sweden, United Kingdom, Netherlands and Poland. Besides, meetings were held with the Bureau Européen des Associations de Consommateurs (BEUC), and the European association for the coordination of consumer representation in standardization (ANEC).
The overall objectives of the Strategy are to empower consumers, to enhance their welfare and to protect them effectively. The Commission's vision is to achieve by 2013 a single, simple set of rules for the benefit of consumers and retailers alike.
More broadly, the European Consumer Policy aims at making the European Union a tangible reality for each European citizen through guaranteeing their rights as consumers in their everyday life. Consumer policy can also contribute to alleviate social problems and, thus, contributes to a more cohesive society throughout the 27 Member States.
The priorities of the strategy are to:
- Increase consumer confidence in the internal market – which contributes to the improvement of business competitiveness – by establishing a uniform regulatory environment that is equally enforced across the European market and which effectively protects consumers.
- Strengthen consumers’ position in the marketplace by developing consumer education tools, the active support of EU consumer organisations, and their involvement in policy making.
- Ensure that consumer concerns are taken into account in all EU policies.
- Complement Member States' consumer policies.
- Collect consumer-related data to support the development of legislative proposals and other initiatives.
Source: European Commission