– having regard to Article 251(2) of the EC Treaty,
– having regard to Rule 67 of its Rules of Procedure,
– having regard to the recommendation for second reading of the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection (A6-0408/2006),
1. Approves the common position;
2. Notes that the act is adopted in accordance with the common position;
3. Instructs its President to sign the act with the President of the Council pursuant to Article 254(1) of the EC Treaty;
4. Instructs its Secretary-General to sign the act, once it has been verified that all the procedures have been duly completed, and, in agreement with the Secretary-General of the Council, to have it published in the Official Journal of the European Union;
5. Instructs its President to forward its position to the Council and Commission.
The Community action programme in the field of consumer protection for the years 2007 to 2013 aims to complement, support and monitor the policies of the Member States and to contribute to protecting the health, safety, economic and legal interests of consumers; as well as to promoting their rights to information, to education and to organise themselves in order to safeguard their interests. The actions shall contribute to ensure an equally high level of protection for all EU consumers and the effective application of consumer protection rules.
On 6 April 2005 the Commission adopted the Proposal establishing a Programme of Community action in the field of Health and Consumer protection 2007-2013. In the Commission's view bringing the two areas together would lead to greater policy coherence, economies of scale, increased visibility and streamlined administrative procedures. However, the European Parliament had a different opinion and adopted its position, which split the programme into two parts, on 23 March 2006 with 56 amendments.
On the basis of the conclusions on 17 May 2006 by the Commission, the Council and the European Parliament of the agreement on the 2007-2013 financial framework (Inter-Institutional Agreement on budgetary discipline and sound financial management) the Commission agreed on a revised proposal, with a financial envelop cut from 233,46 million EUR in the first reading to 156,8 million EUR. As a consequence the consumer objectives have been defined more tightly around two new newly formulated objectives:
1. To ensure a high level of consumer protection, notably through improved evidence, better consultation and better representation of consumers´ interest.
2. To ensure the effective application of consumer protection rules notably through enforcement cooperation, information, education and redress.
Furthermore, the number of consumer actions has been restructured and reduced from 20 to 11, where the most difficult change for consumer organisations was the deletion of specific projects.
Your rapporteur considers that most of the Parliament's requirements from the first reading were incorporated in the new proposal (e.g. special attention to new member states, vulnerable consumers and eligibility criteria for community financing). The different means of redress (judicial and extra-judicial, individual and collective) are covered but not mentioned explicitly, as demanded by a majority of the EP. Finally the Commission launched a brand new idea to financially support the development of European integrated master degree courses in consumer issues.
Informal negotiations between Parliament, the Council and the Commission started in July 2006. A compromise was agreed between the three Institutions. On 22 September 2006 the chair of Parliament's Committee on Internal Market and Consumer protection wrote to the Council to recommend that Parliament approves this text without tabling amendments in second reading.
On 13 November 2006 the Council adopted its common position, which follows the compromise negotiated with Parliament. The substance of the common position is identical with the compromise; its form has been slightly changed by the lawyer linguists. These minor changes are all acceptable and do not call into question the agreement reached between the two Institutions.
Your rapporteur recognises that the Council common position clarifies the proposal and that the changes are necessary to respond to the more limited budget, but this has not changed the objectives or the spirit of the proposal adopted at first reading. The new programme should start in January 2007 with the new budget, to allow also the consumer organisations to plan their work and financial resources. Your rapporteur therefore recommends that it be adopted without amendment at second reading.
Council common position for adopting a decision of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing a programme of Community action in the field of consumer policy (2007-2013)
Date receipt of common position announced in plenary
Committee responsible Date announced in plenary
Rapporteur(s) Date appointed
Marianne Thyssen 4.7.2005
Discussed in committee
Result of final vote
Members present for the final vote
Charlotte Cederschiöld, Mia De Vits, Janelly Fourtou, Małgorzata Handzlik, Malcolm Harbour, Christopher Heaton-Harris, Anna Hedh, Edit Herczog, Anneli Jäätteenmäki, Pierre Jonckheer, Alexander Lambsdorff, Kurt Lechner, Arlene McCarthy, Manuel Medina Ortega, Zita Pleštinská, Guido Podestà, Luisa Fernanda Rudi Ubeda, Heide Rühle, Leopold Józef Rutowicz, Christel Schaldemose, Andreas Schwab, Eva-Britt Svensson, József Szájer, Marianne Thyssen, Jacques Toubon, Bernadette Vergnaud
Substitute(s) present for the final vote
Jean-Claude Fruteau, Benoît Hamon, Konstantinos Hatzidakis, Othmar Karas, Maria Matsouka, Joseph Muscat, Olle Schmidt, Anja Weisgerber
Substitute(s) under Rule 178(2) present for the final vote