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CONSUMER POLICY

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10/09/2014 - My future portfolio in the Juncker Commission

It is a great honour to be nominated as Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development This is an important dossier; the European Union and its Member States are the world´s largest donors of development assistance. More than this in an interdependent world Europe's future is inextricably linked to that of our neighbours both near and far The next step as Commissioner designate is the hearing with the European parliament. I look forward to this first opportunity to set out my objectives for the new portfolio and exchange views with MEPs as to how we can best work together in the interests of Europe. As Commissioner for consumer policy have sought to show added value of Europe for people’s day to day lives. I will strive to do in the future. Work on the current portfolio will continue until the end: there is important legislation to navigate through the legislative system which will further ensure the safety of European consumers, and further efforts needed on the enforcement of consumer rights for example, In-app purchase, to carry on.

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09/09/2014 - Consumer Credit: remember your rights!

Thanks to the European Commission-funded interactive platform for consumer education ConsumerClassroom.eu, consumers can start learning their rights from an early age. The platform provides high quality teaching resources and interactive tools which would help 12- to 18-year olds obtain valuable knowledge and get practical consumer skills. It also encourages cooperation among students across the European Union through a challenging Interschool Competition.

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02/09/2014 - Virtual consumer classroom helps students learn their rights from an early age

Thanks to the European Commission-funded interactive platform for consumer education ConsumerClassroom.eu, consumers can start learning their rights from an early age. The platform provides high quality teaching resources and interactive tools which would help 12- to 18-year olds obtain valuable knowledge and get practical consumer skills. It also encourages cooperation among students across the European Union through a challenging Interschool Competition.

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26/08/2014 - New EU rules grant consumers better protection across the single market

In June 2013, new consumer rights rules entered into force across the EU Member States, thus ensuring better protection for citizens in the digital age. The new rules give Europeans the opportunity to return a product they bought online within 14 days of its purchase and get their money back after up to 14 days. People also have the right to give up a contract maximum two weeks after they signed it. Thanks to the new rules, people are no longer faced with pre-ticked boxes when buying plane tickets online.

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19/08/2014 - European Commission secures 10 better deals for consumers

The European Commission is constantly working to improve the lives of its over 500 million consumers. Thanks to its efforts, online disputes will be resolved more easily from January 2016 on, students can learn their rights already at school via the interactive ConsumerClassroom.eu platform, reduced roaming charges allow people to surf the internet while abroad at reduced rates, every European is entitled to a bank account. Together with Member States, the European Commission is working to make sure online retailers respect consumer rights and unsafe products do not reach people's homes but are safely withdrawn from the markets. In case people face problems with their cross-border purchases, they have who to turn to - the European Consumer Centres, funded by the European Commission.

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12/08/2014 - New app helps consumers find their way while on holidays

The European Commission is always seeking ways to make the lives of consumers easier and to help them reap the benefits of the single market. In 2014, EU-funded European Consumer Centres launched an application aimed to help EU citizens while travelling across Europe. ECC-Net: Travel is a multilingual application whose goal is to provide support to people when faced with tough situations in a foreign European country.

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05/08/2014 - 1,200 products recalled, withdrawn, banned from EU market so far in 2014

European Union Member States, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein have recalled, withdrawn or banned from their markets a total of 1,200 unsafe products in the first seven months of 2014, the European Commission Rapid Alert System for non-food dangerous products RAPEX shows.

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29/07/2014 - Holiday tips for Europeans' worry-free summer

In mid-summer with millions of Europeans crossing the continent to reach the beaches of Spain or to have a walk around the capitals of Denmark or Sweden, the European Commission is providing a list of useful tips to save people the hassle they may face while travelling.

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21/07/2014 - Commissioner Mimica's mission to Munich, Germany

Commissioner Mimica visited Munich on 21 July 2014 to discuss with the Wirtschaftsbeirat Bayern on the perspectives of European consumer policy, to attend the launch of a book by Dr Ivan Šimek on Germany's contribution to Croatia's independence and to meet with Minister Marcel Huber, Bavarian Minister for Environment and Consumer Protection.

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18/07/2014 - In-app purchases: Joint action by the European Commission and Member States is leading to better protection for consumers in online games

Following a large number of complaints in EU countries concerning in-app purchases in online games and in particular inadvertent purchases by children, national authorities joined forces with the European Commission to find solutions. The coordinated enforcement action in the EU on in-app purchases in online and mobile games has made real progress in delivering tangible results. Industry has made a number of engagements which seek to address consumer concerns. The action will increase consumer confidence in the fast-growing "app" sector.

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10/07/2014 - Croatia Forum, Dubrovnik, Croatia

Commissioner Mimica attended the Croatia Forum that took place in Dubrovnik, Croatia, 10-12 July. The theme of this 9th Croatia Forum was 'The EU Integration of the Western Balkans – State of Play'. Commissioner Mimica gave a key note speech, and took part in a round table session on the state of play.

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08/07/2014 - EPC Breakfast Policy Briefing

On 8 July 2014 Commissioner Neven Mimica participated at the Breakfast Policy Briefing organised by the European Policy Centre and the Coalition for Health, Ethics and Society (CHES), where he presented views on a new EU regulatory framework for medical devices.

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08/07/2014 - Mission to Rome, Italy

Consumer Policy Commissioner Neven Mimica visited Rome on 7 July in an effort to improve consumer protection both in Italy and in Europe, under the Italian Presidency of the Council of the European Union. His mission focused on increasing consumer awareness of their rights and on ensuring effective enforcement of these rights.

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07/07/2014 - Better enforcing consumer rights: Towards a true Single Market for Consumers

Commissioner for Consumer Policy Neven Mimica is sharing today his views as to the need for greater co-operation in enforcing consumer rights across the Single market at the conference "EU Cooperation for enforcement of consumer legislation" organised by the Italian Presidency of the Council. "Strict enforcement is key. Consumer rights that exist on paper only do not help consumers. Effective enforcement of consumer legislation is essential in turning rights on paper, into tangible benefits for consumers in practice. We must create a framework that will allow us to tackle widespread infringements which concern several or even all EU countries at the same time. In this context we must also carefully reflect on what should be the role of the Commission - first as a coordinator, but also in helping identify malpractices, and in deciding on the common EU-level mechanisms that would best address such malpractices," Commissioner Mimica said. His thoughts are triggered by the report on the functioning of the Consumer Protection Cooperation network that brings together the national authorities in charge of enforcing European consumer laws and the European Commission, published on 1 July 2014.

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02/07/2014 - ECC-Net: Travel application helping consumers while travelling around Europe

Commissioner Mimica, together with Andreas Schwab and Robert Rochefort, Members of the European Parliament, and Bernd Krieger, Director of the European Consumer Centre (ECC) Germany, launched ECC-Net: Travel application The multilingual app was developed by the European Consumer Centres with the aim to help consumers cope with difficult situations while travelling abroad. It contains key phrases which people can use to explain a problem they may have with a service provider.

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30/06/2014 - Market conditions for consumers continue to improve

Market conditions for consumers continue to improve

There is an improved performance across all consumer markets finds the 10th Consumer Markets Scoreboard published today. This improvement is particularly marked for goods markets, while services continue to be the main sources of dissatisfaction. "Consumers should be the master not the servant of the market," said Commissioner for Consumer Policy Neven Mimica, "The Consumer Markets Scoreboard we publish today shows that, overall, market conditions are getting better for consumers. However much more needs to be done, especially on services and energy. I am working hard with my colleagues in the Commission to address these issues, be it through the Payment Accounts Directive, the Connected Continent package or through facilitating the switching of suppliers."

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23/06/2014 - Mission to China

Between 24 and 26 June, European Consumer policy Commissioner Neven Mimica is visiting China with the aim to further strengthen the cooperation with the EU in the area of product safety and consumer protection. This is his first visit to China as the European Union's Commissioner for Consumer policy. The visit follows a series of meetings with Chinese authorities which took place in Brussels on 18 and 19 June, including a trilateral EU-US-China summit on product safety.

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20/06/2014 - Restoring confidence in medical devices

On 20 June, the EPSCO Council has discussed the joint actions taken by the European Commission and the Member States to restore confidence following the scandal of defective breast implants produced by the French PIP company. These measures were included in the Joint Plan for Immediate Actions under the existing Medical Devices legislation (the so-called PIP Joint Action Plan).

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19/06/2014 - EU, US and China agree to continue trilateral cooperation on consumer product safety

EU Consumer Policy Commissioner Neven Mimica, Elliot F. Kaye, Executive Director and Chairman-Designate of the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission, and Sun Dawei, Vice-Minister General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ) of the People’s Republic of China participated today in the biannual trilateral Summit on Consumer product safety. The Summit agenda included discussions on the different elements within the trilateral cooperation on consumer product safety. The three parties agreed to take stock of previous achievements and to build on them to deepen the trilateral cooperation in the area of consumer product safety. The specific actions to be taken include continued exchange of information on a regular basis, cooperation to implement the concept of seamless surveillance, ongoing education for industry stakeholders, further discussions on relevant standards for consumer products of shared concern, continued efforts to reinforce consumer product traceability and engagement with other relevant product safety organisations to foster cooperation in the area. The meeting took part within the International Product Safety Week, running in Brussels between 16 and 20 June.

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18/06/2014 - Commissioner Mimica: Button batteries, they may be small but the risks are not

EU Consumer Policy Commissioner Neven Mimica attended an awareness raising event about the dangers button batteries pose to health when swallowed or inhaled. He said:"Button batteries are found in all kinds of electrical devices we have at home, many of them easy to reach by our children - calculators, TV remote controls, bathroom or kitchen scales, reading lights and greeting cards. Most of us are not aware of the dangers these small items bring along: if swallowed, they cause fatalities.My goal is to raise awareness among parents, who should know the risks and take good care that appliances and devices which use button batteries are kept away from their children. I also call for manufacturers to take these risks into account when designing new products and put the safety of consumers first."

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16/06/2014 - Together for safe products: International Product Safety Week 2014

The 5th International Product Safety Week started today, 16 June gathering professionals and stakeholders from around the globe. The event promotes safety of consumer products and international cooperation. As part of the IPSW there will be a high-level Trilateral EU-China-US Consumer Safety Summit on June 19th This year topics include: button batteries, that can cause fatal accidents involving children; and "seamless surveillance" to strengthen consumer safety at every point of the supply chain from design to destination.

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13/06/2014 - Consumer Rights Campaign

Watch the new campaign video informing consumers about 5 rights they should know. This video is part of the awareness campaign to empower consumers at a time when they are being given a whole new set of reinforced rights

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09/06/2014 - Consumer mission to Bulgaria

On 9 and 10 June Commissioner Neven Mimica visited Bulgaria in an effort to further empower consumers in the country. During his mission, the Commissioner liaised with national authorities, consumer organisations and the public to discuss how to improve Bulgarian's consumer culture. He also launched a Consumer rights campaign to enhance people's awareness of their rights under Europe's new Consumer Rights Directive.

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05/06/2014 - Consumer Mission to Romania

On 5 and 6 June, European Consumer policy Commissioner Neven Mimica visiting Romania as part of a series of Consumer Missions to Member States where there is great potential for further strengthening consumer culture. The message at the heart of these missions is that for consumer rights legislation to deliver its full benefits, consumers have to know what their rights are and go after them in their everyday lives.

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28/05/2014 - Video message of Commissioner Neven Mimica to the participants in the "Façade Fire Test" event in Zagreb, Croatia

In his message, Commissioner Mimica stresses the importance of enforcing the rules on fire protection to ensure the safety of EU citizens at home, at work and on holiday. He recalls the specifics efforts that the European Commission is making in this regard. In the coming weeks, the Commission will discuss with interested parties the safety of accommodation services in the tourism sector. Their feedback will help estimate the need for additional measures to further improve the security of tourism accommodation facilities, with a view to ensuring that European consumers can enjoy their holidays with confidence and in safety.

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27/05/2014 - Commissioner Neven Mimica back from electoral leave from the European Commission

Today is my first day back in the office following my electoral leave to participate in the elections for the European Parliament. I would like to thank my colleague, Commissioner László Andor, who replaced me as Commissioner for Consumer policy during this period. The focus now is very much on driving the consumer agenda forward as well as more horizontal issues including the floods in the Balkans, the situation in Ukraine and of course the European Parliament elections.

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26/05/2014 - Second Report on Consumer Policy 2012 - 2013: Making a real difference for Europe's consumers

Consumer policy is a cross-cutting policy, impacting sectors as diverse as energy, food, digital technology and financial services.

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16/04/2014 - Commission welcomes European Parliament vote for safer products and better market surveillance

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.

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15/04/2014 - The right to a basic bank account for all European citizens: Commission welcomes European Parliament adoption

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.

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14/04/2014 - Co-ordinated enforcement action leads to greater compliance with Consumer Rights on travel websites

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.

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08/04/2014 - Building a Better Europe for consumers

In the report on implementation of the European Union’s Consumer Agenda, published on 7 April, the European Commission shows the progress made in 4 areas. The areas cover: improving consumer safety, increasing people's awareness about their rights as consumers, improved enforcement of existing rules, the adoption of new laws to safeguard the consumer interest across policy areas.

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07/04/2014 - Commissioner Neven Mimica pays tribute to Malcolm Harbour and his dedication to supporting consumers in Europe

Commissioner Mimica was unable to attend the final session of the European Parliament's Committee for Internal Market and Consumer Protection to be chaired by Malcolm Harbour, but made the following statement.

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02/04/2014 - Commissioner Mimica welcomes the EP Plenary vote on medical devices and in vitro diagnostics

“I welcome today’s plenary vote in the European Parliament on medical devices and in vitro diagnostics medical devices. I would also like to thank the rapporteurs – Dagmar Roth-Behrendt and Peter Liese – for their determination, commitment and the sense of urgency they have demonstrated in dealing with these two important proposals. This paves the way for a rapid adoption of these Regulations under the next mandate of the European Parliament. It is now up to the Council to finalise its position swiftly so that we can adopt this legislation as soon as possible. This is critical to ensure a high level of safety of European consumers and patients and maintain Europe as a place for leading edge innovation in this area.”

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02/04/2014 - Commissioner Mimica addresses the seminar on better deals for energy consumers

On 2 April 2014 the Commission organised the Seminar on better deals for energy consumers in order to identify best practices and lessons learned from supplier switching and energy saving campaigns. The Seminar was held under the auspices of the Greek Presidency and invited speakers included representatives from several consumer organisations, national energy regulatory authorities, the European Executive Agency from Small and Medium-sized Enterprises as well as the representatives from the civil society. The objective of the Seminar was to discuss how to facilitate better deals for energy consumers and to identify potential actions towards empowering consumers. It resulted in identifying several lessons learned and best practices which will be further analysed and taken forward by Commissioner Mimica.

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01/04/2014 - EU Consumer Summit 2014: Ensuring that consumers reap the benefits of the digital economy

Completing the digital single market would benefit EU consumers by on average €400 a year, some €200 billion Europe wide. The digital economy brings real benefits for consumers, but it also raises important questions about consumers’ rights online. This year’s Consumer Summit will focus on how we can ensure that consumers reap the full benefits from the digital sector.

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01/04/2014 - "Digital" Consumer Summit, 1-2 April 2014 – Record you questions now!

Questions on what the EU does for consumers? Curious about your digital consumer rights and where to complain if something goes wrong? Interested in a particular consumer protection topic in the online environment? Want to share why you trust or don't trust Internet or e-commerce? Want to highlight what are the difficulties you meet as a consumers when you shop online or use Internet?

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31/03/2014 - EU supporting consumers in their day-to-day life – for just 5 cents

For just 5 cents per citizen a year, the European Union's consumer programme helps to help citizens fully enjoy their consumer rights and actively participate in the Single Market. The total budget for the programme is €188.8 million for 2014-2020. The Consumer Programme has a great impact on consumers despite its modest budget. It will serve consumers in all Member States with projects ranging from coordinating enforcement actions, co-financing the European Consumer Centres to assisting national authorities in resolving breaches of consumer laws. "It is an essential element in ensuring that the single market works to the benefit of consumers everywhere across Europe" said EU Commissioner for Consumer Policy Neven Mimica.

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26/03/2014 - Commissioner Mimica meets Mr Henri Malosse, President of the European Economic and Social Committee

On 26 March, Commissioner Mimica met Mr Henri Malosse, President of the European Economic and Social Committee. Commissioner Mimica highlighted his priorities for the EU consumer policy and his views on the economic importance of increasing consumer trust. President Malosse presented the latest activities of the European Economic and Social Committee in the consumer area. Commissioner Mimica and President Malosse agreed to explore ways to strengthen co-operation on consumer-related topics.

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25/03/2014 - 10th anniversary of Europe’s Rapid alert system on dangerous products (RAPEX)

Since its establishment in 2003, RAPEX has been guarding European consumers against un-safe non-food products. The number of notifications on dangerous products has been increasing each year and is now 10 times bigger than in 2003. In 2013 a total of 2364 measures were taken by EU Member States. Clothing, textiles and fashion items and toys were the two main product categories posing chemical risks, risk of strangulation, risk of injury or choking.

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20/03/2014 - European Parliament and Council back Commission proposal on right of citizens to a basic bank account

The European Parliament and the Council have reached political agreement on the Commission proposal to make bank accounts more transparent, easier to switch and most importantly accessible to all. The formal adoption is expected in the coming weeks. The Directive is a major step towards a real single market for retail financial services bringing numerous benefits to EU consumers.

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17/03/2014 - Commissioner Mimica completes first Consumer Mission and launches consumer rights awareness campaign in Greece

Between 14 and 17 March European Commissioner for Consumer policy Neven Mimica undertook his first Consumer Mission. The objective of the mission was to engage with consumers, national authorities, consumer organisations and retailers to work together to strengthen consumer culture to the benefit of consumers but also the economy as a whole.

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14/03/2014 - European Consumer Day: Commission kicks off consumer awareness campaign

On the occasion of the European Consumer Day, the Commission presented EU efforts over the last year to strengthen consumer rights. During this time substantial progress has been made regarding among others: Consumer Rights Directive, package travel holidays, effective dispute settlement or consumer protection for apps customers. European Consumers Centres (ECC-Net) dealt with and resolved far more complaints and requests for advice than ever before. To ensure that consumers are aware of their rights under EU law and use them in everyday life, the European Commission will run an information campaign in eight countries where studies have shown that there is least awareness of consumer rights in the EU.

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11/03/2014 - Statement by Commissioner Neven Mimica on the one year anniversary of complete prohibition of animal testing for cosmetics in the EU

"One year ago from today the full ban of animal testing for cosmetics entered into force in the European Union. With this ban, the Union has taken global leadership to demonstrate that safe and innovative cosmetics are possible without new animal tests. I am very encouraged that other countries are now starting to follow. To support this, I will work to make sure that the European approach and alternative methods are an integral part of the Union's trade agenda and international cooperation."

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03/03/2014 - Zagreb. Commissioner Mimica gives keynote speech at the "Croatian consumer in the EU Single market" conference.

Commissioner Mimica attended the conference "Croatian consumer in the EU Single market" organised by the Croatian Ministry of Economy in Zagreb. In his keynote speech, the Commissioner presented his main priorities and recalled that consumer policy is an economic policy that brings benefits to both consumers and businesses. He also highlighted the importance of consumer organisations, whose empowerment is also one of his priorities.

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03/03/2014 - Citizens' Dialogue in Zagreb, Croatia, 3 March 2014

On 3 March Commissioner Mimica participated in the first Citizens' Dialogue to be organised in Croatia. Over 400 citizens from across Croatia attended the event in person with many others sending in questions via social media. The event was webstreamed live and broadcast in its entirety on national television that evening.

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27/02/2014 - Commission and Member States to raise consumer concerns with app industry

Europe's "app economy" is booming. It employs over 1 million people and is expected to be worth €63bn in the next five years. According to the external app analytics platform Distimo, around 80% of the revenue – estimated at over 10 billion EUR per year – of one supplier comes from purchases made by consumers from within an application by which consumers access special content or features, commonly called "in-app" purchases. For the app economy to develop its full potential and continue innovating, consumers need to trust the products. At present over 50% of the EU online games' market consists of games advertised as “free”, although they often entail, sometimes costly, in-app purchases. Often consumers are not fully aware that they are spending money because their credit cards get charged by default.

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18/02/2014 - Commissioner Mimica addresses the European Consumer Centres networking event

The European Commission co-finances and co-ordinates the work of 30 European Consumer Centres throughout the EU, Norway and Iceland. Since 2010, these Centres had direct contacts with over 300 000 consumers, informing and assisting citizens with difficulties encountered in relation to cross border purchases. At the Stakeholder Event to promote the achievements of European Consumer Centres, Commissioner Mimica praised the a key role of the Centres in making the benefits of the European Union visible and tangible to citizens. Through the studies they publish and their daily work, the Centres are also an invaluable source of information on the most frequently raised consumer issues or on emerging threats to consumer rights.

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13/02/2014 - Launch of the public consultation on the fragrance allergens

On 13 February 2014 the Commission launched a public consultation on fragrance allergens which will last until 14 of May 2014. Following the scientific opinion on contact allergens in cosmetic products the Commission invites interested stakeholders to express their opinion on its proposal to: 1) subject new substances to the labelling obligation,2) ban the three substances (HICC, atranol and chloroatranol ) which were found unsafe,3) continue scientific work in order to establish safe concentration levels for the substances of special concern. The Commission is also proposing transitional periods for these measures, in order to give time for the necessary adjustments.

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10/02/2014 - Launch conference for Horizon 2020 in Croatia

The European Union recognises the importance of research and innovation for the future of Europe's economy.  This is why the Horizon 2020 programme is one of the few EU level policies which will receive more funding over the next 7 years than was available from 2007-2013. At the National launch conference for Horizon 2020 in Croatia, Commissioner Mimica urged the research community in Croatia to make the best possible use of the opportunities which Horizon 2020 presents.  These opportunities will benefit not only the researchers but will also help the future orientation of the Croatian economy.  Nor should it be forgotten that innovation also benefits consumers, be it in terms of new, better quality of cheaper products.

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05/02/2014 - Commission maintains safety requirements for cigarette lighters

In order to ensure that children continue to be protected from the dangers of novelty cigarette lighters, or cigarette lighters which are not child-resistant, the EU has extended the ban, which prevents them appearing on the market, up until 11 May 2015. Further prolongation of the bans is possible in the future if necessary. In the meantime, work is continuing to develop a suitable European standard for determining the child resistance of lighters which is based on technical parameters rather than the use of child panels.

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31/01/2014 - Good news for consumers as Commission proposes new rules dealing with banks which are "too big to fail"

On Wednesday the European Commission adopted proposals aimed at those banks which are considered "too big to fail" This was the type of bank that, during the financial crisis, had to receive a bail-out from taxpayers to cover the mistakes made by bankers. This proposal complements a series of ambitious reforms that the EU has put in place in follow-up to the crisis to make sure this doesn't happen again, and to create a sounder, more transparent financial system that works for society as a whole.

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23/01/2014 - Energy prices and costs

Today's package of the European Commission for a possible new EU framework on climate and energy for 2030 gives an important insight on energy prices and costs in Europe both for industry and private households. Some of the main findings are that: despite stable or falling consumption, the share of energy costs for households keeps rising, there has been a fall in wholesale electricity prices, but this has not translated into a reduction in the energy element of retail prices; on average, household electricity prices have risen 4% a year between 2008 and 2012. For gas, household prices have risen 3% a year in the same period, since 2008 electricity network costs for households went up by 18.5% while taxes and levies rose by 36%. For gas, the increase was 17% respectively 12-14%. almost all Member States have seen a consistent rise in consumer prices of electricity and gas and the differences between national prices remain large: consumers in the highest priced Member States are paying 2.5 to 4 times as much as those in the lowest priced Member States.

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10/01/2014 - Need credit? Don't just sign. You have rights. A European campaign on consumer credit rights in Cyprus

"Need credit? Don't just sign. You have rights"- this is the slogan of the campaign. Its purpose is to raise awareness amongst young adults, aged between 18 and 35, of their five key rights when taking out credit between €250 and €75.000: the right to transparent advertising, the right to receive standardised and comparable information before signing a contract, the right to clear information in the contract, the right to withdraw from an agreement within 14 days without explanation and the right to repay early. These rights stem from the Consumer Credit Directive (Directive 2008/48/EC) which Cyprus has transposed correctly into national legislation. Recent surveys showed that 35% of Cypriot consumers are likely to take out credit in the next two years but 70% do not feel protected with regards to their credit rights. The campaign has so far been promoted in print and online media and Cypriot consumers had the chance to receive promotional material on commercial streets and shopping malls in Nicosia, Limassol and Larnaca. Minister Zeta Emilianidou said: "The Commission's campaign held in Cyprus on consumer credit has my full support. It will help consumers in Cyprus to become aware and exercise their rights when taking out credit. In this way they will be able choose the product that best suits their needs." Commissioner Neven Mimica said: "I am glad to see the support that this important campaign has gained in Cyprus. With this campaign we want to encourage consumers to stop and think before signing a credit contract. We want to remind them that they have rights, which they can and should exercise." For more information please visit: http://ec.europa.eu/katanalwtikhs-pisths

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16/12/2013 - Commissioner Mimica addresses the Citizens' Energy Forum (London)

On 16 December 2013 Commissioner Neven Mimica participated at the 6th edition of the Citizens' Energy Forum organised by the British energy regulatory authority (OFGEM) and the Commission. The purpose of this annual event is to review progress in the implementation of electricity and gas retail markets legislation with specific focus on issues for individual consumers. This year the focus of the Forum is on consumer empowerment and collaborative enforcement. Commissioner Mimica delivered the keynote speech opening the event. He referred to increasing energy prices and consequences for consumers, inviting consumers to play an active role in containing their own energy costs through saving energy and through looking for a better energy deals.

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10/12/2013 - Protect yourself from Online Fraud this Festive season

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.

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02/12/2013 - Need credit? Don't just sign. You have rights. - Helping Cypriot consumers exercise their rights

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."

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28/11/2013 - Official visit of Commissioner Mimica to Paris

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.

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26/11/2013 - Official visit of Commissioner Mimica to Poland

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.

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25/11/2013 - Commissioner Mimica meets the winners of the Consumer Classroom competition

Commissioner Mimica welcomed the winners of the 2013 Consumer Classroom competition, 42 students from the Aniturri Bhi School, Spain along with three of their teachers.

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21/11/2013 - Consumer conference Unione Nazionale Consumatori - Premio Vicenzo Dona

On 21 November Commissioner Mimica delivered a video address to the Consumer conference "Unione Nazionale Consumatori - Premio Vicenzo Dona".

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15/11/2013 - Commissioner Mimica addresses the BEUC General Assembly

On Friday 15 th November Commissioner Mimica addressed for the first time the general assembly of BEUC, The European Consumer Organisation.

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08/11/2013 - Commissioner Mimica at Citizens' Dialogue Oldenburg, Germany

On 8 November 2013, Commissioner Mimica participated in the Citizens' Dialogue in Oldenburg, Germany, organised jointly by the European Commission, the European Parliament and the German Federal Government. The forum provided an excellent opportunity to meet consumers face-to-face, exchange views and discuss consumer policy issues of direct concern to them.

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05/11/2013 - Commission welcomes European Parliament vote to improve Consumer safety

A further step towards ensuring the enhanced safety of European consumers was the welcome given by Vice President of the European Commission, responsible for Industry and Entrepreneurship, Antonio Tajani and Commissioner for Consumer policy Neven Mimica to today’s vote of the Internal market committee of the European Parliament on a negotiating mandate for the product safety package proposed by the European Commission.

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29/10/2013 - Commissioner attends Trans-Atlantic Consumer Dialogue

In his keynote speech at the multi-stakeholder conference organised in Brussels by the Transatlantic Consumer Dialogue (TACD) to discuss what is at stake for consumers in the framework of the negotiations on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), Commissioner Mimica highlighted the benefits which the TTIP would bring consumers, while underlining that these would not come at the expense of consumer safety or an erosion of standards. He expressed his view that TTIP negotiations should confirm the EU’s and US’s mutual commitment to key values and best practices in order to create a common market space that would benefit consumers. Commissioner Mimica said: " Our standards of global excellence and leadership should be the basis on which we can build without compromising our high levels of health and safety standards and consumer protection. Let us be clear, a weakening of consumer protection would not serve the interests of citizens or societies on either side of the Atlantic. EU and US consumers want strong levels of consumer protection. We must therefore make sure that consumers benefit fully from the agreement whilst remaining properly and fully protected Read more

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22/10/2013 - Commissioner Mimica welcomes the EP Plenary Vote on medical devices and In vitro diagnostics

"Today, we have passed an important milestone on the road to restoring patients' trust in Europe's regulatory system for medical devices, said Commissioner Mimica, the European Commissioner for Consumer Policy." The Commissioner added: "The decision by the European Parliament to give a strong mandate to the rapporteurs – Mrs Roth-Behrendt and Mr Liese, will, I am certain, pave the way for successful negotiations. I would like to thank the two rapporteurs and all the members who through their hard work have made today's vote possible. The European Commission's aim in these negotiations will be to ensure the highest level of patient and consumer safety while making sure that innovation continues to flourish. We will continue to work closely with the Parliament, and with the Member States in the Council, to achieve this objective. It is now time for the Council to accelerate its work. If together we continue with the hard work and co-operative spirit which has been shown here today and in the preceding weeks, I am sure we can deliver for citizens by concluding these important files within the current Parliamentary term." Memo Speech

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14/10/2013 - Commissioner Mimica welcomed ideas on e-commerce and better consumer protection rules in an online chat with EU citizens

Today Commissioner Mimica answered questions and welcomed ideas on how to improve e-commerce and consumer protection rules across the EU during an online chat with citizens. The chat was part of the EU Single Market Month, which brings EU citizens and leaders together online to discuss the challenges ahead of the Single Market.

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14/10/2013 - Better protection when downloading games, e-books, videos and music

Thanks to the joint action of the EU Member States and the European Commission, 116 websites selling digital games, books, videos and music have been brought in line with the EU consumer legislation. Press release Questions and answers More information

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11/10/2013 - "Improving cross-border consumer protection - share your views

Europe's 500 million citizens should get the same benefits from their consumer rights if they shop at home, in another European Union country or on-line in Europe. On Friday 11/10 the European Commission has started a consultation with consumers, consumer protection organisations and business to see how best to strengthen consumer protection across borders.

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10/10/2013 - Making e-commerce work for consumers: discuss your ideas with Commissioner Mimica!

On Monday 14 October at 10:30 CET Commissioner Mimica will hold a live text chat with citizens on how to boost consumer confidence online as the vital ingredient for successful e-commerce. This chat is part of the EU Single Market Month, which brings European citizens and EU leaders together online to discuss the challenges remaining and ideas for the future of the Single Market.

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10/10/2013 - Commissioner Neven Mimica – meetings in London

On the 10 October 2013 Commissioner Neven Mimica visited London where he met with Mr Sajid Javid, Financial Secretary to the Treasury; Earl Frederick Howe, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State in the Department of Health and visited Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency.The main issues discussed during those meetings were the legislative proposals on payment accounts directive, regulation on medical devices and in vitro diagnostics medical devices, which are currently discussed by the Council and the European Parliament.Commissioner Mimica also met with Mr Peter Vicary-Smith, the CEO of consumers organisation Which? to exchange views on the enforcement of consumers rights, capacity building, behavioural economics, payday loans and energy switching.

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30/09/2013 - Commissioner Neven Mimica participated in the structured dialogue with the IMCO Committee of the European Parliament

Commissioner Mimica presented his main priorities in the coming months and had a constructive exchange of views with members of IMCO Committee on pending legislative proposals (product safety, medical devices, payment accounts), enforcement, ADR/ODR, collective redress and ensuring better deals for consumers in the energy sector.

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30/09/2013 - Conference: Applying behavioural insights to policy-making

On 30th September Neven Mimica, EU Commissioner for Consumer Policy, welcomed top international academic, business and policy experts to a conference in Brussels to discuss the role that Behavioural Economics can play in the development of EU policies so as to better serve the consumer.

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26/09/2013 - Commissioner Neven Mimica participated in his first structured dialogue with the ENVI Committee of the European Parliament

Commissioner Mimica presented his main priorities during the first structured dialogue meeting with the ENVI committee and had a constructive exchange of views with members of the European Parliament on medical devices, cosmetics and ban on animal testing, fire safety in hotels, products quality and energy issues.

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26/09/2013 - Improving the safety of medical devices

Following the Poly Implant Prothèse (PIP) breast implants scandal, the European Commission has fulfilled its commitment to restore patient confidence in the medical devices sector by adopting two measures to improve their safety. EU Commissioner for Consumer Policy, Neven Mimica, said that "with today's measures the European Commission further strengthens the safety of medical devices."

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25/09/2013 - The European Parliament Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) adopted reports on medical devices and in vitro diagnostic medical devices

ENVI Committee adopted reports on medical devices and in vitro diagnostic medical devices. Commissioner Neven Mimica welcomed the vote of the ENVI Committee and thanked the rapporteurs for their commitment and dedication. The aim is to adopt the proposed regulations under this legislature.

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24/09/2013 - The European Commission adopted two measures to improve the safety of medical devices

The European Commission adopted two measures to further strengthen the safety of medical devices under the current legislation. Those measures are Commission Implementation Regulation on the designation and the supervision of notified bodies under Council Directive 90/385/EEC on active implantable medical devices and Council Directive 93/42/EEC on medical devices, and a Recommendation on the audits and assessments performed by notified bodies in the field of medical devices.

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26/07/2013 - Do you have a complaint or seek advice on a specific purchase?

The European Commission cannot intervene in individual disputes between consumers and traders but national authorities, consumer organisations and the Network of European Consumer Centres can help you.

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23/07/2013 - Consumer Scoreboard: more action needed for a true single market for consumers

Protection of consumer rights varies greatly in the EU and only 35% of Europeans are confident buying online from sellers in other EU. These are among the results of the 2013 Consumer Conditions Scoreboard published on 23 June 2013.

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18/07/2013 - Internet users experienced savings of €14.70 a month through switching to a better deal, shows new EU Study

The European Commission published a Staff Working Document on the functioning of the market for Internet access and provision. The study, which targeted consumers in the EU, Norway, and Iceland shows that over a third of respondents had experienced problems with their Internet provider over the last 12 months.

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16/07/2013 - Following the accession of the Republic of Croatia to the European Union on 1 July 2013, the Council of the European Union, by decision of 1 July 2013, has appointed Mr Neven Mimica as a Member of the European Commission for the period from 1 July 2013 to 31 October 2014

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16/07/2013 - New EU Rules are combating misleading information and putting safer cosmetics on EU shelves

As of the 11th of July, cosmetics on shop shelves, both manufactured in the EU and imported from third countries, should be fully compliant with the Cosmetics Regulation ensuring strengthened safety standards and providing better information for the consumers.

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10/07/2013 - Aktivnosti Komisije u cilju poboljšanja potrošačkih prava za 120 milijuna turista

“U klimi koja trenutačno vlada potrošači moraju biti sigurni da za svoj novac dobivaju protuvrijednost i to se odnosi na odmore jednako kao i na tjednu kupovinu. Danas smo poboljšali potrošačka prava za 120 milijuna turista: oni mogu rezervirati odmor znajući da su pri donošenju odluka bili dobro informirani te u odmoru bezbrižno uživati” - Neven Mimica, povjerenik EU-a za potrošačku politiku

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10/07/2013 - Commission acts to improve consumer rights for 120 million holiday makers

“In the current climate consumers need to be certain that they are getting value for money and this applies as much to holidays as it does the weekly shop. Today we have improved the consumer rights of 120 million holiday makers: they can book a holiday confident that they have made an informed choice and have the peace of mind to enjoy it to the full” - Neven Mimica, the Commissioner for Consumer Policy.

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25/06/2013 - Commission acts to make bank accounts available to all, cheaper and more transparent

Bank accounts have become an essential part of everyday life of European citizens. Recognising this, the European Commission published its proposal for a Directive on the transparency and comparability of payment account fees, payment account switching and access to a basic payment account

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19/06/2013 - There is still time to contribute to the consultation on individual pension plans

The European Commission is holding a public consultation on third pillar retirement products (individual pension plans). The consultation is focused on consumer protection. It is open until 19 July 2013.

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11/06/2013 - Member States encouraged to have collective redress mechanisms in place to ensure effective access to justice

New non-binding principles aim to allow citizens and companies to enforce the rights granted to them under EU law where these have been infringed.

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