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Consumers (26-03-2010)

Consumer Markets Scoreboard exposes barriers to better deals and a decline in consumer conditions

The spring Consumer Markets Scoreboard published today reveals that EU consumers are still not reaping the full benefits of the internal market due to barriers to cross-border commerce. There is a growing gap between cross-border and domestic e-commerce. The national conditions for consumers – measured e.g. by consumer trust in consumer authorities and NGOs, and the effectiveness of handling disputes – have declined in most countries. But eight countries have improved their scores despite the difficult economic period. The ability of consumers to afford goods and services varies greatly from one country to another: in six countries, affordability is less than half the EU average. Life in the richer EU countries is more affordable for consumers, despite higher price levels. The Commission is working to tackle existing barriers, based on a catalogue of measures, including simplifying rules for retailers.

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