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Review of EU Consumer law (Fitness Check)

As part of its Smart Regulation policy the Commission runs a Regulatory Fitness and Performance Programme (REFIT). It aims to make EU law simpler and to reduce regulatory costs, thus contributing to a clear, stable and predictable regulatory framework. This is a continuous process, affecting the whole policy cycle – from the design of a piece of legislation to implementation, enforcement, evaluation and, where justified, revision.

One of the REFIT actions is the ‘Fitness Check’ - a comprehensive policy evaluation aimed at assessing whether the regulatory framework for a particular policy sector is ‘fit for purpose’. Fitness Checks provide an evidence-based critical analysis of whether EU actions are proportionate to their objectives and delivering as expected in all EU policy areas.

This year's European Consumer Summit on 17 October 2016 was entirely dedicated to the Fitness Check of EU consumer and marketing law. For further information, please see the Consumer Summit 2016 web page.

The Commission has now begun a Fitness Check of EU Consumer and Marketing legislation which covers the following directives:

  • Directive 2005/29/EC concerning unfair business-to-consumer commercial practices in the internal market (Unfair Commercial Practices Directive);
  • Directive 1999/44/EC on certain aspects of the sale of consumer goods and associated guarantees (Sales and Guarantees Directive);
  • Directive 93/13/EEC on unfair terms in consumer contracts (Unfair Contract Terms Directive).
  • Directive 98/6/EC on consumer protection in the indication of the prices of products offered to consumers (Price Indication Directive);
  • Directive 2006/114/EC concerning misleading and comparative advertising (Misleading and Comparative Advertising Directive);
  • Directive 2009/22/EC on injunctions for the protection of consumers' interests (Injunctions Directive).

Aim & Scope

The 'Roadmappdf(508 kB) Choose translations of the previous link ' for the Fitness Check, defines the overall scope and aim of the exercise, and sets out a number of key questions that are to be addressed in relation to the Fitness Check criteria:

  • Effectiveness: Have the objectives been met?
  • Efficiency: What were the costs and benefits involved?
  • Coherence: Is the EU consumer legislation complementing or contradicting other policy and legislation?
  • Relevance: Does EU legislation address the main problems that consumers are facing today?
  • EU added value: Did EU action provide clear added-value?
In this context the Fitness Check will examine, among other things:
pdf(510 kB) Choose translations of the previous link 

Timeframe for the Fitness Check (indicative)

 -- 2016 --

  • January
Publication of the Roadmap
  • March
Launch of contracts to assist the Commission in the gathering and assessment of relevant information and evidence for the Fitness Check
  • 12 May - 12 September
public internet consultation.
  • 13 May-13 June

Call for applications to the Stakeholder Consultation Group for the Fitness Check of EU consumer and marketing law 

  • April-November
Structured evidence gathering consultation with all Member States and key stakeholder groups
  • July
Membership publication of the Stakeholder Consultation Group for the Fitness Check of EU consumer and marketing law 
  • 17 October
EU Consumer Summit dedicated to the Fitness Check

-- 2017 --

  • January
Finalisation of the external studies supporting the Fitness Check.
  • Second quarter
Publication of Commission report on the results of the Fitness Check.

Stakeholder Consultation Group

First Meeting (21 September 2016)

The next meeting will take place on 25 November 2016.

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