Extracts from the joint press conference by Viviane Reding and John Dalli on the consumer agenda of DGs JUST and SANCO
Type: Summary of press conference
End production: 22/05/2012 First transmission: 22/05/2012
On 22 May 2012, Viviane Reding, Vice-President of the EC in charge of Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship, John Dalli, Member of the EC in charge of Health and Consumer Policy, and Malcom Harbour, Chairman of the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection, gave a press conference on a new European Consumer Agenda, held in Strasbourg.
Consumer expenditure, amounting to 56% of EU GDP, reflects the enormous power of the consumer to drive forward the European economy. Only empowered and confident consumers can fully exploit the potential of the Single Market and enhance innovation and growth. This is why the European Commission's strategic vision for EU consumer policy for the years to come – adopted on that day - aims to maximise consumer participation and trust in the market. Built around four main objectives the European Consumer Agenda aims to increase confidence by: reinforcing consumer safety; enhancing knowledge; stepping up enforcement and securing redress; aligning consumer rights and policies to changes in society and in the economy. It also presents a number of key actions to be implemented between now and 2014
Only the original language version is authentic and it prevails in the event of its differing from the translated versions.
||General view of the speakers at the press conference on a new European Consumer Agenda, held in Strasbourg
||Soundbite by Viviane Reding, Vice-President of the EC in charge of Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship, (in ENGLISH): Next to come will be the package travel rules which have to be reformed because the way people build and buy their travel has changed; they are now utilizing building blocks to build their travels by themselves and 56% of them do that but unfortunately they are not anymore protected by the package travel rules.
||Cutaway of the speakers
||Soundbite by Viviane Reding (in ENGLISH): We are also working very much on the enforcement mechanism such as for the small claims procedures for instance, a simple enforcement procedure of cross border claims of up to 2.000 Euros. We have developed the E-portal for justice questions all over Europe in all languages to be available to consumers.
||General view of the conference room
||Soundbite by John Dalli, Member of the EC in charge of Health and Consumer Policy, (in ENGLISH): Our first objective is to further strengthening consumers safety, the very basis of consumer's policy as demonstrated by the great interest raised by the publication of the latest report on safety of product on the 8th of May. Second, we want to improve consumer information and education in order to allow consumers navigating increasingly complex market. We want consumers to make informed decisions that would drive policy of both supplying companies as well as regulators.
||Cutaway of the speakers
||Soundbite by John Dalli (in ENGLISH): Access to redress especially alternative dispute resolution is a priority in this context. Finally, we need to make sure that consumer's rights are in line with current technological and societal developments, in particular digitalisation and that consumer's interest are fully taken on board with a number of new policies essential for consumers like food, energy, the financial sector and transports.
||Soundbite by Malcom Harbour, Chairman of the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection, (in ENGLISH): I think we are very pleased to see our work and our ideas being reflected in this document and, as both Commissioners have said, this is very much the case of working together to put consumers at the heart of the single market and to improve the quality of their interactions with the market place and encourage them particularly to use the new online tools but also where their new competition and new offers coming in areas like energy, transport and digitals services to be able to take advantage of those as well.
||Speakers leaving the press room