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Consumers (18-07-2007)

Commissioner Kuneva on the review of the Consumer Acquis at the AMCHAM EU Plenary

On 17 July, Commissioner for Consumer Protection, Mrs Meglena Kuneva, delivered a speech before the American Chamber of Commerce (AMCHAM) in Brussels, on the Review of the EU body of Consumer legislation or the Consumer Acquis. The Commissioner stressed that the legislative follow-up to the Green Paper will be key in enhancing consumer confidence as well as ensuring a more stable and transparent business environment. The public consultation of the Green Paper being now closed, the revision of the feedback has begun with 330 replies now being analyzed. The Commissioner replied to the specific concerns voiced by AMCHAM on impact assessment, proper implementation and enforcement and their view that the level of consumer protection should not be fixed at the highest level. She also reiterated that in the framework of improved regulation the Commission would only suggest modifications to the acquis which are seen as necessary to promote cross-border business-to-consumer (B2C) trade. Commissioner Kuneva also stated however that whilst some Member States will have to introduce stricter rules, others will have to lower their protection level in the interest of harmonization. Regarding enforcement instead, it will not be tackled in the review of the consumer acquis,  although as stressed in the Consumer Policy Strategy, published earlier this year, that is an issue of priority. Overall the outcome of the consultation has shown that a majority of stakeholders prefer a mixed approach with a preference for a targeted full harmonization. The impact assessment work will  commence in autumn 2007 so that the earliest a proposal can be foreseen is in the second half of 2008.
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