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  Enforcing Consumer Protection Rulesslide

If European consumer rights are to have practical effects, they must be appropriately enforced. Effective enforcement of European Consumer legislation means:

First, the correct transposition by Member States of European Consumer Legislation into their national legal systems.

Second, that, once transposed, the legislation is enforced in an effective, efficient and consistent manner by the competent authorities in each Member State.

Effective enforcement across the EU and globally calls for closer co-operation and co-ordination between national enforcers. The establishment of the International Marketing Supervision Network (IMSN) brings together enforcement practitioners from OECD countries. In response to the particular needs of EU enforcers a sub-group of the IMSN has been set up. In the area of consumer product safety PROSAFE, an informal network of product safety practitioners, promotes co-ordination of enforcement activities and exchange of information, expertise and best practices.

Enforcement of consumer protection laws is often dealt with through a mixture of private and public laws. Private law enforcement is primarily left to private actors (e.g. individual consumers or business) through mechanisms of private law (e.g. the courts or alternative dispute resolution). More details can be found in the subject area; 'Access to Justice'. However, public authorities are generally responsible for the enforcement of public law through mechanisms such as investigative powers, injunctions and fines etc. Clearly at European Level the issue of enforcement becomes even more complex when the cross border element of consumer and business relationships is factored in with different systems of national enforcement.



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