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Consumers (09-11-2011)

Commission unveils new Consumer Programme 2014-2020

Brussels, 9 November 2011 – Today, the European Commission adopted a proposal for the new Consumer Programme 2014-2020. The programme aims to foster a Europe of active, informed and empowered consumers, who can contribute to economic growth.

With a total budget of €197 million over 7 years, the Consumer Programme will support EU consumer policy in the years to come. Its objective is to place consumers at the centre of the Single Market and empower them to participate actively in the market and make it work for them, particularly by:

  • Enhancing product safety through effective market surveillance;
  • Improving consumers' information, education and awareness of their rights;
  • Consolidating consumer rights and strengthening effective redress, especially through alternative dispute resolution;
  • Strengthening enforcement of rights cross-border.

In announcing the new Consumer programme, Commissioner Dalli said that the programme is about people and fostering the conditions for people to play a key role in society and in the economy. He said that confident, empowered consumers create thriving markets, and so he believes that the programme will make a significant contribution to achieving the Europe 2020 goals – to create smart, sustainable and inclusive growth by the end of this decade.

Consumer Programme

The programme aims to build on the previous programme by financing actions focussing on consumer empowerment through safety, information and education, rights and redress and enforcement actions. Actions will focus on:

  • Monitoring and enforcing safety through EU-wide systems such as RAPEX, the EU rapid alert system for dangerous consumer products;
  • Information and education initiatives to make consumers, particularly young consumers, aware of their rights. This includes also the continuing development of the evidence base for better policy making at both EU and national level on consumer issues, with, for example, the Consumer Markets Scoreboard which maps out the markets that fail consumers in Europe;
  • Delivering legislation aimed at enhancing consumer rights, for examplethe Consumer Credit Directive which ensures that consumers across Europe enjoy a common set of core rights, including the right to receive clear and comparable information before committing themselves financially; and Redress, where good preparatory work has been done, particularly, on Alternative Dispute Resolution;
  • Enforcement action through for instance" Sweep" operations, which are co-ordinated by the European Commission and carried out simultaneously by national consumer enforcement authorities to see where consumer rights are being compromised or denied, and the provision of advice and support to consumers shopping cross-border through the network of European Consumer Centres.


What's next?

The proposal will now be discussed by the European Parliament and Council of Ministers.


Further information:
For information on the new proposal:
http://ec.europa.eu/consumers/strategy/programmes_en.htm
For information on the Multiannual Financial Framework 2014-2020 please see: http://europa.eu/press_room/press_packs/multiannual_financial_framework_2014_2020/index_en.htm