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European Consumers' Organisation

BEUC, the European Consumers' Organisation, acts as the umbrella group in Brussels for its members and its main task is to represent them at European level and defend the interests of all Europe's consumers. BEUC investigates EU decisions and developments likely to affect consumers, with a special focus on five areas identified as priorities by its members: Financial Services, Food, Digital Rights, Consumer Rights & Enforcement and Sustainability.

EU unveils ambitious Pharma Strategy to make medicines affordable and available for consumers
The EU Commission published its Pharmaceutical Strategy today, aiming to ensure patients timely access to safe and affordable treatment and to support medical innovation and pharma competitiveness.

Consumer groups welcome new EU consumer policy strategy for the next five years
Today the European Commission adopted the "Consumer Agenda", its consumer policy strategy for the next five years. It lays down the Commission's consumer policy objectives and will serve as guidance to include consumer interests in all policy areas. Focus areas are the green and digital transition as well as the post-COVID economic recovery.

Consumers place high hopes on EU gearing up fight against harmful chemicals
The EU has announced concrete steps to better protect consumers against harmful chemicals - to which they are exposed night and day from multiple sources. That is the gist of the long-awaited Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability, published today by the EU Commission.

Seven Member States oppose ambitious EU plans to help consumers eat healthier food
A group of seven EU Member States are trying to scupper plans for an EU-wide nutritional label.

Survey: Consumers see potential of artificial intelligence but raise serious concerns
According to a survey conducted by consumer groups in nine EU countries published today, consumers believe that artificial intelligence (AI) can bring benefits. However, when asked to evaluate the added value of a number of specific services which already today use AI technology - e.g. home virtual assistants or advertisement on e-commerce sites - most respondents are not convinced.

BEUC reports major airlines for breaching passenger rights and calls for industry investigation
Following thousands of complaints from upset airline passengers, BEUC - and 11 of its member organisations - have reported some major airlines to national consumer protection authorities and the European Commission for breaching passenger rights and for using unfair commercial practices. BEUC and its members are also asking for a broad investigation of the sector regarding wide-spread unfair practices during the last few months.

EU top court sides with consumer privacy in EU-US data shambles
The Court of Justice of the EU today decided to invalidate the EU-US Privacy Shield.

Consumers to get financial breathing space with debt and insurance relief
New guidelines issued to financial institutions will offer some welcome breathing space to consumers who have been hit financially by the COVID-19 pandemic.

EU institutions reach historic deal on EU-wide collective redress law
The EU institutions approved a law which would allow citizens in all EU countries to go to court as a group if they have suffered the same damage. Consumer groups have been advocating for such a law for more than 30 years.

Most EU consumers open to eat more sustainably but face hurdles, new survey shows
How much attention do you pay to the impact of your food choices on the environment? Are you willing to cut down on red meat? Is the government doing enough to promote sustainable food?

COVID-19 is a wake-up call to end sky-high medicine prices
The current pandemic is a stress test for our health care systems and sky-high medicines prices are one of the problems that need solving. As vaccines, testing kits and treatments are urgently needed to tackle COVID-19, BEUC urges the EU to ensure that public funding into treatment research results in medicines that are affordable to all. Experience shows that public investment in medicines research − such as cancer drugs − does not always ensure fair prices.

EU makes bold pledge for resource-friendly consumer goods
Consumer products sold in Europe will become more environmentally friendly, in a bid to better use depleting natural resources.

Settlement reached: Volkswagen to compensate consumers in Germany affected by Dieselgate
German consumer group Verbraucherzentrale Bundesverband (vzbv) and Volkswagen (VW) have reached an out-of-court settlement to compensate drivers affected by the 2015 Dieselgate emissions scandal.

Two-thirds of 250 products bought from online marketplaces fail safety tests, consumer groups find
Six consumer groups from the BEUC network tested 250 electrical goods, toys, cosmetics and other products bought from online marketplaces such as Amazon, AliExpress, eBay and Wish. They selected the products based on possible risks and found that 66% of them fail EU safety laws with possible consequences such as electric shock, fire or suffocation.

Europe's digital future must benefit consumers
In response to the European Commission's artificial intelligence (AI) initiative and data strategy - both presented today - The European Consumer Organisation (BEUC) calls for the EU to put in place safeguards to mitigate risks from AI and data sharing for the EU's 450 million consumers and to protect their rights in this digital revolution.

Worrying decline of food controls in Europe, new BEUC report reveals
The number of food controls and the resources allocated to them are dwindling across Europe. This is the worrying trend that emerges from the report 'Keeping food in check', published on 22 October by BEUC, The European Consumer Organisation.

10 years on from the first inefficient light bulb ban, consumers have saved up to €1,330
In the decade after EU rules on energy-efficient lighting kicked in, the average European household has saved up to €1,330 - the equivalent combined price of a mid-range washing machine, fridge and dishwasher.

The EU needs rules on chemicals in coffee cups, straws and other paper food packaging, consumer test shows
A new lab test shows that food packaging made of coloured paper and cardboard - such as coffee cups and straws - may contain and release chemicals originating from the inks used for printing.

Starting tomorrow, consumers will benefit from cheaper intra-EU phone calls
People making phone calls from their home country to someone living in another EU country will see their phone bill drop thanks to a new EU measure which will apply from tomorrow.

EU Parliament votes for more transparency of food safety studies
In a plenary vote today, the European Parliament endorsed the deal agreed with Member States on a proposal to end secrecy around scientific studies on food safety.

AI ethic guidance a first step but needs to be transformed into tangible rights for people
On Monday, 8 April, the European Commission's High Level Expert Group on Artificial Intelligence (HLEG) will publish its "Ethics Guidelines for Trustworthy AI". AccessNow, ANEC and BEUC, all members of the expert group, support these guidelines but stress that they can only be a first step. The European Union has the responsibility to ensure that fundamental and consumer rights are respected and bring benefits to people.

Parliament gives green light to handy EU-wide pension product
The EU Parliament has given its blessing to a deal reached between the EU institutions on the creation of a pension product that would be available in all EU countries and to all consumers, regardless of the country they live in or move to.

A big step closer to group actions anywhere in the EU
The European Parliament has confirmed in a plenary vote today that it wants citizens in all EU countries to be able to go to court as a group if a company has caused damages on a mass scale.

Deal reached to improve enforcement of consumer law
The EU has struck a deal that should see consumers better protected when a company breaks the law.

EU authorities supervising financial markets to get stronger and long-awaited consumer protection powers
The EU has struck a deal to strengthen and better fund the authorities which are responsible for supervising financial markets at EU level.