16/04/2014 - Consumer policy is a cross-cutting policy, impacting sectors as diverse as energy, food, digital technology and financial services.
The European Commission welcomes today's European Parliament vote in favour of new rules to improve the safety of consumer products circulating in the EU's internal market - including those imported from outside the EU - and to step-up market surveillance concerning all non-food products. This will contribute to strengthening consumer protection. It will also create a level playing field for business by ensuring that responsible manufacturers do not suffer unfair competition from products which do not comply with European safety or environmental rules.
The European Parliament has today adopted in plenary session the Directive on the transparency and comparability of payment account fees, payment account switching and access to a basic payment account.
In a concerted action by national consumer authorities co-ordinated by the European Commission an astonishing 382 out of 552 websites checked in 2013 did not respect European consumer law. As a result of vigorous enforcement action, 62% of the websites checked are now treating consumers as they should. The remaining 38% can expect further action against them as European authorities continue work to ensure that consumer rights are fully respected.
Commissioner Mimica addressed the discussion organised by the Hanns-Seidel Foundation and the European Economic Senate on the aims and limits of EU consumer protection regulation. In his keynote speech, the Commissioner stressed the importance of combining consumer information with "smart" regulation and effective enforcement. Providing consumers with relevant and reliable information, based on behavioural evidence, can help them make empowered choices. At the same time, the Commission should continue to strive for smarter, simpler and easier to enforce consumer protection rules, particularly in areas such as product safety.
On 3 April 2014 Commissioner Mimica met Mr Anthony L. Gardner, United States Ambassador to the European Union. This courtesy meeting provided an opportunity for an exchange of views on bilateral and international cooperation between the EU and the US on consumer policy, including on consumer aspects of the TTIP negotiations.
On 3 April 2014 Commissioner Mimica met with Mr. Veljko Kajtazi who awarded the Commissioner with the Yearly award of the Roma National Council for his special contribution to the development of Roma institutions in the Republic of Croatia for 2013. During the meeting, Mr. Kajtazi informed the Commissioner of the achievements of the RNC in the last nine months and set out the challenges ahead.