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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's Digital Single Market blueprint released
A European ‘Digital Single Market’ was brought a step closer today by the European Commission’s eCommerce Communication. Consumers in the EU can see this as welcome progress in tackling major obstacles to cross-border online trade.

Consumers' wish for Santa: Safer toys for Europe's kids
Just as every year, Christmas approaches and family and friends rush to the shops to buy toys for the children. Often spoiling the festive mood is the doubt in the minds of many consumers as to the safety of the toys they buy. ANEC and BEUC warn that the entry into force of the revised Toy Safety Directive earlier this year should not camouflage worrying flaws in the safety of toys sold in Europe.

Bank proposal on current account fee transparency - bold announcement, zero substance
BEUC, the European Consumers’ Organisation, rejects EBIC’s (European Bank Industry Committee) plans to self-regulate the transparency and comparability of current account fees as instructed by the European Commission. For a paltry number of bank account services (approx. 10), the banks propose to establish a common terminology and information.

MiFID II - An opportunity to make Europeans' investments safer
While stock markets and banks are in disarray, Europe's consumers need stable financial markets more than ever to make secure investments. The European Commission is due to unveil an updated 'Markets in Financial Instruments Directive' (MiFID II) Thursday, October 20th. BEUC, the European Consumers' Organisation has asked legislators to make consumers' needs their theme in this initiative.

New "optional" EU Sales law makes consumer protection a guessing game
BEUC, the European Consumers’ Organisation has strong concerns about the European Commission’s proposal of an “optional” Common Sales Law due October 11.

Dangerous chemicals in consumer products: your Right to Know not easy to use
Would you like to know if your carpet or your child’s toothbrush contains any hazardous chemicals? You have the right to ask the trader and manufacturer. But when BEUC, the European Consumer Organisation, and its members tested it, we received very few satisfying answers.

Access to bank account: Disappointment over Commission climb-down
Millions of Europeans without a bank account will be hugely disappointed by today’s Commission decision to give up on planned legislative action in favour of a non-binding Recommendation on access to a basic payments account. BEUC, the European Consumers’ Organisation has for many years been calling for EU action giving all EU consumers access to a bank account and deplores this climb-down of the Commission.

Major new rules for roaming in the EU
Today sees new European Commission rules proposing to change the face of Europe’s telecommunications market and further reduce the roaming cost of calls, texts and, for the first time, data usage. These rules would be applicable as of 1st July 2012.

EU Contract law - MEPs on the wrong track
The European Parliament votes this week Wednesday 8 on a report by MEP Diana Wallis (UK) supporting the European Commission’s proposal for a European contract law system.

EU IPR Strategy "behind the times": BEUC leads calls for balanced copyright laws
The European Commission is expected to publish on Tuesday May 24 its EU Strategy on the future of Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs). In advance, BEUC has published its own ‘IPR Strategy’ which offers the perspective of European consumers, identifies failings with the current status quo and proposes how to establish a copyright framework which benefits both creators and consumers.

New deposit guarantee rules are first step in right direction
Today the European Commission adopted its proposal which revises EU rules on deposit guarantee schemes. BEUC welcomes that the European Commission prescribes faster payouts, takes the coverage of temporary high balances into account and addresses the issue of cross border deposit guarantees.

Halt to bad consumer surprises thanks to data roaming cut-off limit
BEUC welcomes that, as of the 1st of July 2010, a mandatory cut-off limit on data roaming charges lowers the financial risks for European mobile phone users. The maximum charge for data roaming (connecting to mobile internet, downloading and sending files when abroad) will be set at €50, unless consumers deliberately choose another limit. Furthermore, maximum wholesale prices for data roaming will decrease from €1 to 80 cents per megabyte.