10/12/2013 - 12% of internet users across the EU have already fallen victim to online fraud. 8% have had to deal with identity theft. For the Festive season the European Commission has published five tips to avoid online fraud. For example always use a secure payment method and never transfer cash. The tips also include advice on how to screen unfamiliar online traders and what to do if you happen to fall victim to a fraudulent site.
On Monday 2 December the European Commission launched an information campaign on consumer credit in Cyprus. "Need credit? Don't just sign. You have rights" is the slogan of this campaign and the main purpose is to raise awareness amongst young adults, aged between 18 and 35, of their rights before they sign a credit agreement. These rights stem from the Consumer Credit Directive (Directive 2008/48/EC) which came into force in June 2010 and which applies to credit between €250 and €75.000. Neven Mimica, European Commissioner for Consumer Policy, said: "When it comes to financial services, the choices consumers make can have a great impact on their lives. We want to empower consumers to choose the right credit product and avoid debt, but to achieve this we first need to make them aware of their rights."
On the 28 November 2013 Commissioner Neven Mimica visited Paris where he met with Mrs Marisol Touraine, Minister of Social Affairs and Health; Mrs Nathalie Homobono, Director in the Directorate General for competition policy, fraud control and consumer affairs in the French Ministry of Economy, Finance and External Trade and Mr Alain Bazot, President of the consumer organisation UFC – Que Choisir.
On the 26 November 2013 Commissioner Neven Mimica visited Poland where he met with Mr Bartosz Arłukowicz, Minister of Health; Mr Jarosław Król, Vice-President of the Office for Competition and Consumer protection; Mr Wojciech Kowalczyk, Undersecretary of State in the Ministry of Finance; Mr Kamil Pluskwa-Dąbrowski, President of the Polish Consumer Federation National Council, Mr Paweł Rokicki, President of the Association of Polish Consumers and Mr Piotr Stańczak, Head of the European Consumer Centre Poland.
On the 9 of December 2013 Commissioner Neven Mimica held a meeting with Mr Adonis Georgiadis, Greek Minister of Health to discuss the outstanding issues and the state of play of the revision of Medical Devices regulation in the Council of the EU. Minister Georgiadis confirmed that this issue is going to be one of the top priorities for the Greek Presidency.
The meeting served for an exchange of views on strengthening cooperation in the EU for the enforcement of consumer protection rules. The discussion focused on the particular challenges arising in the digital environment in relation to young consumers, social media and online payments.
At the ceremony organised by the Hungarian Socialist Delegation to the European Parliament, following Croatia's accession to the EU, Croatian Members of the European Parliament were welcomed by Commissioner Mimica and other dignitaries. The occasion marked the addition of the Croatian title to the statue “Europe Rediscovered”, with the unveiling of the inscription on the statue’s pedestal."
The meeting concentrated on consumer-related aspects of the Commission's recent proposal on Air Passenger Rights. Amongst others, Mr Tyler and Mr Kucko informed Commissioner Mimica about the IATA-ICAO work on core principles for regulating consumer protection in air travel worldwide.
During the meeting with Mrs Marisol Touraine, Minister of Social Affairs and Health Commissioner Mimica discussed French views regarding the proposal for a Regulation on Medical Devices and on in vitro diagnostics medical devices, with an emphasis on the scrutiny system for high-risk medical devices and the reprocessing of single-use medical devices. Both sides agreed on the urgency of adopting this proposal, which will protect the safety of patients and at the same time preserve the innovative edge of the medical devices industry.
Commissioner Mimica has participated at the event "Croatia - The New Player in the EU Internal Market", which took place at the European Parliament. This was the occasion to gather Croatian SMEs together with the Belgian ones and to celebrate entering of Croatia to the EU market. The Commissioner used this opportunity to stress the importance of the role which manufacturers and service providers have in securing consumer rights, by producing safe and high quality products. This event was organized by Foundation Konrad Adenauer and German-Belgian Club.
Meeting with Mrs Nathalie Homobono, Director in the Directorate General for competition policy, fraud control and consumer affairs in the French Ministry of Economy, Finance and External Trade, provided an opportunity to discuss the proposal for a Product Safety and Market Surveillance package, in particular French positions regarding the country of origin labelling, RAPEX notifications and safety tested mark. In addition, there was an exchange of views on the revision of the Regulation on the Consumer Protection Cooperation and enforcement of consumer rights.
At the meeting with Mr Alain Bazot, President of the consumer organisation UFC – Que choisir Commissioner Mimica presented his priorities and had an exchange of views on the enforcement and effectiveness of consumer rights, collective redress, mediation and European sales law. UFC- Que choisir informed the Commissioner about their ongoing action on collective switching of gas which can provide tangible benefits to French consumers.
Commissioner Mimica delivered a keynote speech at the International Safety Seminar organised by CEOC (the International Confederation of Inspection and Certification Organisations) on the state of play and key elements of the legislative proposals under the Product Safety and Market Surveillance package and the revision of the Medical Devices legislation.
During the meeting with Undersecretary of State in the Ministry of Finance, Mr Wojciech Kowalczyk Commissioner Mimica discussed Polish positions regarding the legislative proposal on payment accounts directive and emphasised the importance of adopting this directive under the current legislature of the European Parliament. Meeting with Mr Jarosław Król, Vice-President of the Office for Competition and Consumer protection provided an opportunity to discuss the proposal on product safety, in particular Polish positions regarding the country of origin labelling and RAPEX notifications, as well as enforcement of consumer rights, financing and capacity building of national consumer organisations and the review of the Regulation on the Consumer Protection Cooperation.
At the meeting with Mr Kamil Pluskwa-Dąbrowski, President of the Polish Consumer Federation National Council, Mr Paweł Rokicki, President of the Association of Polish Consumers and Mr Piotr Stańczak, Head of the European Consumer Centre Poland, Commissioner Mimica presented his priorities and had an exchange of views on the enforcement of consumer rights, as well as on the funding and capacity building of national consumer organisations. During the meeting with Mr Bartosz Arłukowicz, Minister of Health, Commissioner Mimica discussed Polish views regarding the proposal for a Regulation on Medical Devices and on in vitro diagnostics medical devices. The most prominent issues were the scrutiny system for high-risk medical devices and the reprocessing of single-use medical devices. Both sides agreed that the safety of patients must be secured, while preserving the innovative edge of the medical devices industry.