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  Policy strategyslide

The new European Consumer Agenda

- Boosting confidence and growth by putting consumers at the heart of the Single Market - 22 May 2012

The European Commission has adopted its strategic vision for EU consumer policy for the years to come which 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.

The new European Consumer Agenda replaces the Consumer Policy Strategy 2007-2013

The Public Hearing on the European Consumer Agenda

In the run up to adoption, the European Consumer Agenda was discussed at a Public Hearing on 9 February 2012

Consumer Policy Strategy 2007-2013

On 13 March 2007 the Commission adopted a Consumer Policy Strategy pdf for 2007-2013. The strategy sets out the challenges, role, priorities and actions of EU consumer policy for this period.

Between November 2004 and September 2006, Consumer organisations have been consulted on various occasions to define the future priorities of consumer policy. In particular, at a workshop organized by the General assembly of Consumer organisations in Brussels (12-)13 November 2004), in the framework of the European Consultative Consumer Group (ECCG) (10 December 2004, 16 March 2005, 20 September 2006), and through bilateral hearings held with many national consumer organizations in January-February 2005 in Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Cyprus, Greece, Spain, Germany, Finland, France, Hungary, Ireland, Luxemburg, Sweden, United Kingdom, Netherlands and Poland. Besides, meetings were held with the Bureau Européen des Associations de Consommateurs (BEUC), and the European association for the coordination of consumer representation in standardization (ANEC).

The overall objectives of the Strategy are to empower consumers, to enhance their welfare and to protect them effectively. The Commission's vision is to achieve by 2013 a single, simple set of rules for the benefit of consumers and retailers alike.

More broadly, the European Consumer Policy aims at making the European Union a tangible reality for each European citizen through guaranteeing their rights as consumers in their everyday life. Consumer policy can also contribute to alleviate social problems and, thus, contributes to a more cohesive society throughout the 27 Member States.

The priorities of the strategy are to:

  • Increase consumer confidence in the internal market – which contributes to the improvement of business competitiveness – by establishing a uniform regulatory environment that is equally enforced across the European market and which effectively protects consumers.
  • Strengthen consumers’ position in the marketplace by developing consumer education tools, the active support of EU consumer organisations, and their involvement in policy making.
  • Ensure that consumer concerns are taken into account in all EU policies.
  • Complement Member States' consumer policies.
  • Collect consumer-related data to support the development of legislative proposals and other initiatives.

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Background documents

Previous Consumer Policy Strategies:

  • Commission Communication "Healthier, Safer, more confident citizens: a health and consumer protection strategy" and Proposal for a Decision establishing a programme of Community action in the field of Health and Consumer Protection 2007-2013,
    COM (2005)115 (446 KB)
    Impact assessment (396 KB)
  • European Parliament Resolution of 13 March 2003 on the Commission Communication on the Consumer Policy Strategy 2002-2006
  • Opinion EN pdf of the European Economic and Social Committee of 26 February 2003 on the Communication from the Commission on Consumer Policy Strategy 2002-2006
  • Council Resolution EN pdf of 2 December 2002 on Community Consumer Policy Strategy 2002-2006
  • Consumer Policy Strategy
    ES DA DE FR IT NL PT FI SV pdf (2002-2006), 07 May 2002
  • Reference
    ES DA DE EL FR IT NL PT FI SV pdf to interim report on Consumer Policy Action Plan, 23 August 2001
  • Consumer Policy Action Plan 1999-2001
  • Council Resolution of 28 June 1999 on Community consumer policy 1999 to 2001

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