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Consumers (29-11-2006)

Consumer Commissioner-Designate presented to European Parliament

On 27 November, Mrs Meglena Kuneva, the Bulgarian Commissioner-designate, attended a hearing at the European Parliament to present her plans for taking forward consumer protection matters from January 2007 until the end of the term of the current Commission in 2009.
Mrs Kuneva set out her intended priorities for her mandate, which would include working to complete the review of the consumer protection legislative framework, to improve the enforcement of laws already in place, to "consolidate and develop further the progress already made in the area of enforcing product safety rules" and to raise the capacity of consumer organisations.
“I should like to place consumer issues at the centre of the formulation of European Union policies and to demonstrate to the citizens of the EU that Europe can enhance the quality of their daily lives," she said.
The European Parliament should give its opinion on her nomination by 12 December. If Mrs Kuneva is confirmed, she will take up the new post in January 2007 when Bulgaria will enter the EU. Mrs Kuneva was up until now the Bulgarian Minister for European Affairs and has a background in law and journalism.
If confirmed by Parliament, Mrs Kuneva will be the first Commissioner in charge of EU Consumer Protection policy as a separate issue.
Consumer policy is a core component of the Commission strategic objective to improve the quality of life of all EU citizens. Implementation of this policy involves the development of legislative and other actions to promote the interests, health and safety of consumers in the internal market, to ensure the proper integration of consumer concerns in all EU policies and to complement the consumer policy conducted by Member States. Within this general context, the Commission actively supports consumer organisations and is seeking to enhance the role of consumer representatives in decision making.
The portfolio of the future Commisionner for Consumer affairs does not include activities relating to nutrition, food safety or food labelling, nor questions relating to public health which will remain in the Portfolio of Commissioner Kyprianou. 
For more information on the Commission’s Consumer protection policies: http://ec.europa.eu/consumers/index_en.htm