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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.

Early Christmas present: dodgy health claims on food to disappear from shelves?
December 14 marks the final whistle for unproven health claims used by EU’s food industry. That day ends the 6-month transition period for industry to adapt their packaging and stop using claims which cannot prove their beneficial effect on consumers’ health.

EU record fine for TV and Computer price fixing cartel - Collective answers needed
Following today’s record EU EUR 1.47 billion fine for a 20 year cartel run by television and computer material producers, the European Consumer Organisation highlights that a full answer is the introduction of a system of collective redress in the EU – streamlining legal actions to allow such victims to go to court as one.

EU energy market: Put the spot on consumers
Today’s report by the European Commission of the EU energy market shows that member states have to increase their efforts to implement key measures protecting energy customers.

Google's privacy policy questioned by EU data authorities
Data protection authorities across Europe - collectively known the Article 29 Working Party – have today issued their conclusions on Google’s privacy policy changes introduced earlier this year.

EU nanotechnology plan: tiny focus on consumer protection
Everyday products from clothes to children’s toys contain nanomaterials. Regrettably, the European Commission today disregarded calls from the European Parliament, consumer groups and environmental NGOs to force nanomaterial producers to be transparent about the substances they use and improve pre-market testing.

Consumers left stranded: self-serving financial commissions survive EU vote
Yesterday, the European Parliament's Economic Affairs committee passed a vote to update a key EU law regulating investment services (the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive, or MiFID).

EP vote on fish labelling
In a disappointing vote, the European Parliament rejected the new rules on fish labelling proposed by the European Commission as part of the EU Common Fisheries Policy reform.

European Parliament adopts unambitious Energy Efficiency Directive
Today the European Parliament passed the EU Energy Efficiency Directive which sets energy savings targets for providers. Energy companies will be required to make yearly energy savings amounting to 1.5% of their annual sales.

ACTA vote in European Parliament
Following today’s rejection of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) in a vote by Members of the European Parliament (478 against, 39 in favour, 165 abstentions), Director General of The European Consumer Organisation (BEUC) Monique Goyens commented:

European Parliament basic bank account vote - a life-belt for millions of consumers
The European Parliament today voted for binding European rules to make basic payment accounts available to all EU consumers. These should offer most basic payment functions, be free of charge or reasonably priced and open to all existing and new bank customers.

European Parliament vote: PIP scandal calls for strong EU action
Today, the European Parliament voted a resolution on the PIP breast implants scandal which affected 400,000 women around the world and more than 100,000 women in Europe. The PIP case illustrates the failure of the current system to guarantee consumer safety and the urgent need for a major revision of EU legislation on medical devices in order to restore public trust.

Chemical foul play in EURO 2012 football shirts
In a few short 3 days, Europe's best football players kick-off the European football championship in jerseys containing harmful and toxic substances new findings by BEUC members reveal.

Consumer Agenda finally puts consumer at centre of EU policy-making
BEUC welcomes the adoption by the European Commission of the Consumer Agenda - its vision for future EU consumer policy.

EU Roaming Regulation
Following today’s European Parliament vote approving the latest Roaming Regulation (which enters into force across the EU July 1, 2012), Monique Goyens, Director General of The European Consumer Organisation (BEUC) commented:

2011 RAPEX figures released: Numbers down, risks unchanged?
A disturbing 1,803 dangerous products alerts have been revealed with today’s release of the 2011 RAPEX system statistics. This is down by approximately 450 compared to an all-time high in 2010. RAPEX is Europe’s rapid alert system for products risking the safety and health of consumers (excepting food, pharmaceutical and medical devices).

Europe still an attractive business destination, Eastern companies say
Enterprises from the six countries of the Eastern Partnership (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine) see the European Union as an attractive business destination and express great optimism towards closer integration with the EU.

Air passengers' rights: key EU vote approaches
In the context of a major EU update of air passengers’ rights, the European Parliament votes Thursday, calling for a strengthening of rights and measures to improve enforcement. MEPs also denounce the lack of transparency of ticket pricing and call for a ‘black-list’ of unfair contracts terms.

Consumer organisations across EU call on Apple to stop misleading practices on product guarantees
11 consumer organisation members of BEUC are today calling for an immediate halt to misleading practices by Apple in relation to consumers’ product guarantee rights.

European chemicals safety net flawed Commission study reveals
A European Commission study on hormone disrupting chemicals has shed a worrying new light on the insufficient way these are assessed before use in consumer products.

Futile European Parliament vote on bank deposit guarantees
Today’s European Parliament vote on EU rules governing deposit guarantees – which protect consumers when banks go bankrupt – has regrettably been in vain.

EU can wait no longer for Collective Redress
Today’s vote in the European Parliament echoes BEUC in putting clear pressure on the Commission to introduce a system of Collective Redress providing EU consumers with a collective compensation tool for commercial malpractice.

Major EU update of Data Protection laws: Consumers handed greater control of their data
BEUC welcomes today’s proposed update of EU Data Protection laws by the European Commission. These will make European standards applicable to all companies processing the data of European consumers.

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.