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Consumer issues in other policies

Many EU policies directly affect consumers. It is the case especially in such areas as product safety, internal market, trade, competition, financial services, transport, telecommunications, or energy.

Commission's objective is to safeguard and integrate into its policies interests of the consumers.

Better coordination is realised through:

  • European  Consumer Consultative Group (ECCG) , ensuring consumer participation in all relevant policy groups;

  • Involvement of consumer policy stakeholders in consultations  organised by other EU policies on proposals with a major impact on consumers;

  • Each Commission department with a significant consumer interest has a consumer liaison officer to monitor the impact of its policies on consumers.

In order to include consumers' interests in essential services and to ensure affordable access to these services, the following measures are foreseen:

  • Monitoring of key consumer markets

  • Stronger guarantees of market transparency

  • Better complaint and redress mechanisms

The main policy areas where the integration of consumer interests is applied

Retail financial services

Retail banking markets remain fragmented and still have competition barriers. In order to improve the sector of Retail financial services, the Commission has analysed obstacles encountered by consumers when opening, closing or switching bank accounts. It has also focused its efforts on solving problems with competition in the retail banking sector.

Services of General Interest

Policy on Services of General Interest must go hand in hand with appropriate measures for consumers. It should also ensure, where appropriate, that universal service at EU and Member State level is safeguarded.

Passenger rights

Passengers should be able to claim their rights when something goes wrong with their trip. With the Commission's rules on Passenger rights this is now possible, regardless of the mode of transport or destination.

Gas and electricity consumer's rights

Following Commission's efforts in the area of Gas and electricity consumers' rights, consumers are now better protected and have the right to choose the best gas and electricity deal for themselves.

The Commission is presenting the first findings of studies into the functioning of retail electricity markets for consumers and consumer vulnerability across key markets in the European Union. These findings are complemented by an overview of recent studies on comparison tools and third-party verification schemes, and energy poverty and vulnerable consumers in the energy sector.  The Staff Working Documentpdf(2 MB) Choose translations of the previous link  provides strong evidence of the need to support the consumer dimension in the Commission Communications on Delivering a New Deal for Consumers and on the State of the Energy Union 2015. 

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