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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 must make consumers' chicken safe without chemicals
Chicken sold in Europe in the future could be dipped in chemicals to wash bacteria away, according to a European Commission proposal BEUC strongly disapproves of.

Consumers sidelined in Capital Markets Union
Today, the European Commission has kicked off an action plan to reduce companies’ reliance on banks and diversify their funding sources across the EU’s 28 member states. Part of the package is to stimulate consumers to invest increasingly on financial markets.

"New Deal for Europe's Energy Consumers" sees light of day
Helping consumers to get a better energy deal is the core of a number of initiatives announced by the European Commission today. This New Deal outlines the way forward by making it easier for consumers to compare offers, switch suppliers and find their way around a digitalised energy market. The Commission deal also supports consumers who generate and consume their own energy.

Mixed outcome of new EU consumer insurance market law
A deal was reached last night between Members of European Parliament and EU ministers in the revision of EU-wide rules for insurance sales, ranging from car and fire insurance to life insurance.

EU reaches unambitious deal on Roaming charges and Net Neutrality
Negotiations between the European Parliament and Council on a Telecoms Single Market regulation concluded today, setting a deadline to abolish roaming charges and making a start on an EU-wide Net Neutrality principle (i.e. treating internet data equally and banning the blocking of internet services).

EU unveils Digital Single Market: Consumers must be central
The EU‘s Digital Single Market (DSM) Strategy, a top priority of the Juncker Commission, has been published today.

EU introduces new consumer rights
A range of new consumer rights will apply in all 28 EU Member States as of Friday, June 13.

Election countdown: The European Parliament’s significance for consumers
This week's European elections will be hugely important for the daily lives of 500 million consumers. In the next 5 years, many consumer issues will be at stake – from unfair banking practices to EU data protection laws.

Roaming in the EU - New figures highlight continuing high costs - BEUC
Following today's publication by the European Commission of its pan-EU household survey on telecoms roaming costs, Monique Goyens, Director General of The European Consumer Organisation commented:

Food from cloned animals: consumers left in the dark - BEUC
Despite European consumers having no appetite for food from cloned animals or their offspring, they might be eating it unawares. Today’s European Commission proposals will not help obtain more information as they ignore food from clone offspring.

EU paves way for the bank accounts consumers actually need - BEUC
Today’s European Parliament vote will enable all European consumers to open a bank account, make account fees more transparent and comparable and help those who want to switch to another bank.

EU-US 'Safe Harbour' data agreement: BEUC comment
The European Commission has identified 13 recommendations for change to the EU/US ‘Safe Harbour’ agreement on citizens’ personal data exchange for commercial purposes. For example, it encompasses data such as Passenger Name Records (PNR) on flights, personal data submitted when buying online and the use of Cloud Computing services by Europeans via servers within America’s jurisdiction. The US government will consider by June 2014. The Commission will then make a decision about Safe Harbour depending on the response by the US government.

EU-US trade talks resume, consumer concerns continue
EU and US delegations meet this week in Brussels to resume their trade talks after last month's US government shutdown halted the second round of negotiations.

Parliament opens the door to safer medical devices
Laws defining medical devices will be shaken up after the European Parliament adopted the proposals in Strasbourg today. It is now over to the Council of Ministers to toughen up patient safety.

This time it should be personal: EP takes strong stance on data protection law
The European Parliament’s Civil Liberties committee vote today as they lead efforts to seal an update of EU Data Protection and privacy laws.

Will Europe's telecoms market overhaul benefit consumers?
The telecoms sector in Europe is to get a regulatory shake up under wide ranging plans launched by the European Commission.

No home run for home loans (BEUC)
The European Parliament voted today to adopt first-time, Europe-wide laws protecting people taking home loans.

New EU roaming price caps from July 1
Phone calls, SMS texts and data usage costs when roaming within the EU will be further axed from July 1.

Consumers urge Commission against scale down on excessive card fees
European Commission plans to curb consumer unfriendly card transaction fees are under attack from intense lobbying by card companies such as MasterCard. Such Multilateral Interchange Fees (MIFs) generate a steady stream of income for banks and card companies at the expense of consumers, retailers and SMEs.

EU takes baby step towards collective consumer court actions
The European Commission will recommend Tuesday 11 June that all EU countries adopt laws allowing victims to go to court as a group if harmed or suffering loss from the same source.

On sale, but unsafe: EU risklist reports thousands of dodgy products
A record number of 2,278 products were reported to the EU’s rapid alert system for dangerous consumer products (RAPEX) in 2012. The most frequent citings were for clothing, electrical appliances and toys.

Google antitrust investigation
Following the European Commission’s announcement on their Google antitrust investigation, BEUC Director General Monique Goyens commented:

Victims of breast implants scandal fight for compensation - Need for EU to better protect with Collective Redress
Criminal fraud proceedings begin today in France following last year’s breast implants scandal which affected 400,000 victims globally and 100,000 in Europe.

Towards a Europe-wide database of accidents and injuries
A broad coalition of European organisations has come together to call on the European Commission to propose setting up a Pan-European Accident and Injury Data System. They are convinced that such a system would contribute to fewer accidents and injuries. Moreover, the cost of creating such a system would be more than offset by reductions in health care costs.

EU updates law on air passengers' rights
A major update of EU regulation on the rights of passengers and obligations of airlines when flights are cancelled or face long delays has been launched today (March 13).