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Extracts from the press conference by Meglena Kuneva, on the EC proposal of EU-wide rights for shoppers

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Consumers across Europe will be able to rely on a single set of core EU consumer rights – including clear information on the offer, rights on late delivery and non- delivery, cooling off periods, returns, refunds, repairs and guarantees - under new proposals. These rights will apply wherever citizens shop in the European Union, whether its online or in the high street. The Internet is one of the most empowering tools consumers have ever had. Already 150 million EU citizens - a third of our population - shops online. So far only 30 million of these online shoppers make cross border purchases though. There is enormous potential for the internal market if more people were confident to venture beyond their national borders when shopping online or in ordinary shops. By creating a single set of EU-wide consumer rules, the Commission aims to help consumers to feel more confident about their rights, wherever they shop in the EU. Businesses will also find it easier and cheaper to extend their services into other countries – which will mean greater choice for consumers and more competitive prices. 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.
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Type: EbS   Reference: 59569   Date: 08/10/2008   Duration: 00:04:02
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