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EU policies – Delivering for citizens: Protecting European consumers

28-06-2019

Consumer protection rules have been improving the rights of consumers in the European Union since the 1970s. While the level of protection is today considered to be among the highest in the world, consumers in the EU are still faced with a number of issues. According to the latest available data, in 2016 one in five consumers said that they had had a reason to complain in the last 12 months, a level which has remained largely unchanged since 2008. Since 2014, efforts have been made in a number of ...

Consumer protection rules have been improving the rights of consumers in the European Union since the 1970s. While the level of protection is today considered to be among the highest in the world, consumers in the EU are still faced with a number of issues. According to the latest available data, in 2016 one in five consumers said that they had had a reason to complain in the last 12 months, a level which has remained largely unchanged since 2008. Since 2014, efforts have been made in a number of areas, including stronger cross-border cooperation between national authorities in charge of consumer protection and market surveillance. Notably, the Commission proposed a 'new deal for consumers' in April 2018, to enable representative legal actions for the protection of the collective interests of consumers and to modernise EU consumer protection rules. Sector-specific efforts included: eliminating roaming charges across the EU in 2017; legislation aimed at facilitating consumer participation in the digital single market; reforms on the rules on privacy and data protection; enhancing the rights of energy consumers and passengers; and efforts to address the 'dual quality' of branded food products. The EU budget for consumer protection is relatively small, because although rules in this field are made at the EU level, their implementation and enforcement are carried out by the Member States. The consumer programme has a budget of €188 million for the 2013-2020 period, or roughly €0.05 per citizen per year. This may change in the new multiannual financial framework, as consumer protection becomes part of a wider single market programme, which is expected to create synergies between its various components. Future policies could focus on longer product lifetime, labelling and quality requirements for non-agricultural and industrial products, fairer food labelling and retail financial services. This is an update of an earlier briefing issued in advance of the 2019 European elections.

Spirit drinks: Definition, labelling and geographical indications

28-05-2019

In December 2016, the European Commission proposed to replace Regulation (EC) No 110/2008 – the Spirit Drinks Regulation – with a new one, with the aim of aligning it with the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU). The proposal mainly involves grouping the provisions adopted by the Commission into delegated and implementing acts. In addition, it replaces the existing procedures for the protection of geographical indications (GIs) of spirit drinks with new ones, modelled on the recently ...

In December 2016, the European Commission proposed to replace Regulation (EC) No 110/2008 – the Spirit Drinks Regulation – with a new one, with the aim of aligning it with the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU). The proposal mainly involves grouping the provisions adopted by the Commission into delegated and implementing acts. In addition, it replaces the existing procedures for the protection of geographical indications (GIs) of spirit drinks with new ones, modelled on the recently updated procedures for quality schemes applied to agricultural products and foodstuffs. According to spirits industry representatives, the proposal contained some substantive changes that needed to be studied in detail to determine their impact. The Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) was responsible for the file in the European Parliament. A provisional agreement was reached at the third trilogue meeting, on 27 November 2018. The agreement was confirmed by the Special Committee on Agriculture in December 2018 and approved in the ENVI committee on 22 January 2019. A plenary vote in the EP was held on 13 March 2019. The act was signed on 17 April and the regulation published in the Official Journal on 17 May 2019. Third edition. The ‘EU Legislation in Progress’ briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure. Please note this document has been designed for on-line viewing.

New EU rules on labelling of tyres

21-03-2019

On 17 May 2018, the European Commission adopted a proposal for a new regulation on the labelling of tyres for the purposes of fuel efficiency, safety, and noise reduction. This would replace the 2009 Tyre Labelling Regulation (TLR), while maintaining and reinforcing most of its key provisions. The proposed regulation would increase consumer awareness of the tyre label and improve market surveillance and enforcement of TLR provisions across the EU Member States. Suppliers would be obliged to display ...

On 17 May 2018, the European Commission adopted a proposal for a new regulation on the labelling of tyres for the purposes of fuel efficiency, safety, and noise reduction. This would replace the 2009 Tyre Labelling Regulation (TLR), while maintaining and reinforcing most of its key provisions. The proposed regulation would increase consumer awareness of the tyre label and improve market surveillance and enforcement of TLR provisions across the EU Member States. Suppliers would be obliged to display the tyre label in all forms of purchase, including where the tyre is not physically shown in the store and where it is sold online or on a long-distance basis. Whereas the tyre label is currently applicable to passenger and light-duty vehicles, in future it would also apply to heavy-duty vehicles. The new label would include visual information on tyre performance in snow or ice conditions, and could be adjusted by means of delegated acts to include information on mileage, abrasion or re-studded tyres. From 2020, all tyre labels would be included in the product registration database being set up as part of the revised EU framework for energy efficiency labelling. Whereas the Council finalised its position on 4 March 2019, the Parliament is expected to vote on its first-reading position, on the basis of the ITRE committee’s report, during the March II plenary session.

Mandatory origin-labelling schemes in Member States

12-09-2018

Eight EU Member States have launched, or are about to launch, national mandatory labelling schemes for certain food products, mainly for milk and milk used in dairy products, but also meat used in processed foods. The regulatory basis for these national measures is the Regulation on the provision of food information to consumers, which allows Member States to adopt additional national measures concerning the mandatory labelling of foodstuffs, as long as these are justified by reasons specifically ...

Eight EU Member States have launched, or are about to launch, national mandatory labelling schemes for certain food products, mainly for milk and milk used in dairy products, but also meat used in processed foods. The regulatory basis for these national measures is the Regulation on the provision of food information to consumers, which allows Member States to adopt additional national measures concerning the mandatory labelling of foodstuffs, as long as these are justified by reasons specifically defined in the regulation. The European Parliament has been supporting origin labelling in several resolutions. Consumer organisations have advocated it as well, while many industry stakeholders have highlighted the practical difficulties and costs it would bring. The European Commission has reiterated its position, based on its reports exploring the issue, that voluntary origin labelling is the best option at European level.

Regulation 98/2013 on the marketing and use of explosives precursors: Implementation Appraisal

29-05-2018

Explosives precursors are chemical substances that can be (and have been) misused to manufacture homemade explosives (HMEs). Regulation 98/2013 on the marketing and use of explosives precursors, applicable since September 2014, has two general aims: to increase public security through a reduced risk of misuse of explosives precursors for the manufacture of HMEs and, at the same time, to enable the free movement of explosives precursor substances in the EU internal market, given their many legitimate ...

Explosives precursors are chemical substances that can be (and have been) misused to manufacture homemade explosives (HMEs). Regulation 98/2013 on the marketing and use of explosives precursors, applicable since September 2014, has two general aims: to increase public security through a reduced risk of misuse of explosives precursors for the manufacture of HMEs and, at the same time, to enable the free movement of explosives precursor substances in the EU internal market, given their many legitimate uses. The regulation establishes a system of restrictions and controls on a number of explosives precursors with the aim of limiting the general public's access to these substances. The regulation also establishes an obligation for economic operators to report suspicious transactions, disappearances and thefts of explosives precursors. Evidence collected through the Commission's evaluation and stakeholder consultation confirms the existence of significant challenges related to the application of the regulation. These include a fragmented landscape of restrictions and controls across Member States (which apply an outright ban, a licensing or a registration regime, or a combination of these); insufficient awareness along the supply chain about rules and obligations arising from the regulation; and a lack of clarity about certain provisions that focus particularly on the identification of products that fall within the scope of the regulation and the identification of legitimate/professional users. Lack of clarity as to the application of the regulation to online marketplaces is yet another problem, given the absence of an explicit reference to e-commerce in the regulation. Non-inclusion of all threat substances in the list of restricted explosives precursors is seen as yet another important challenge, and so is the perceived inflexibility of the procedure for adding new threat substances to the list, especially in view of the need to react quickly to new and evolving threats. In light of the above, in April 2018 the European Commission put forward a proposal for a new regulation, accompanied by an impact assessment and an evaluation.

Organic production and labelling of organic products

11-04-2018

In 2014, the European Commission adopted a proposal for a regulation on organic production and labelling of organic products. Aimed at revising the existing legislation on organic production in order to remove obstacles to the sustainable development of this sector, the proposal is intended to strengthen the rules on the control system, the trade regime, various animal welfare practices and the use of non-authorised substances. The proposed regulation will introduce one set of EU-wide rules covering ...

In 2014, the European Commission adopted a proposal for a regulation on organic production and labelling of organic products. Aimed at revising the existing legislation on organic production in order to remove obstacles to the sustainable development of this sector, the proposal is intended to strengthen the rules on the control system, the trade regime, various animal welfare practices and the use of non-authorised substances. The proposed regulation will introduce one set of EU-wide rules covering the entire organic sector. Parliament is due to vote on the proposal during its April plenary session.

Organic farming legislation - Revision of EU Regulation on organic production and labelling of organic products

09-03-2018

Developing organic production is an EU policy objective. While the EU organic market is constantly expanding, only 6 % of total EU agricultural area is used for organic cultivation, and the difference between EU demand and production is covered by growing imports. To overcome the regulatory obstacles to the development of the sector and increase consumer confidence in the EU organic logo, the Commission adopted a proposal in March 2014 for a regulation on organic production and labelling of organic ...

Developing organic production is an EU policy objective. While the EU organic market is constantly expanding, only 6 % of total EU agricultural area is used for organic cultivation, and the difference between EU demand and production is covered by growing imports. To overcome the regulatory obstacles to the development of the sector and increase consumer confidence in the EU organic logo, the Commission adopted a proposal in March 2014 for a regulation on organic production and labelling of organic products, repealing the current framework dating from 2007. Following a series of trilogue meetings, the Maltese Presidency and the European Parliament reached a preliminary agreement on 28 June 2017. The Council's Special Committee on Agriculture endorsed the agreement, which the Parliament's Agriculture Committee subsequently approved on 22 November 2017. The full Parliament and Council now need to approve the text before the new regulation can enter into force. This briefing updates earlier editions, of September (PE 568.317), and October 2015 (PE 596.036), drafted by Francesco Tropea.

Revamping the regulation on spirit drinks

22-02-2018

In December 2016, the European Commission proposed to replace the current Spirit Drinks Regulation with a new one. The Parliament is expected to vote during the February II plenary on the ENVI committee's report on the proposal and on a mandate for interinstitutional trilogue negotiations.

In December 2016, the European Commission proposed to replace the current Spirit Drinks Regulation with a new one. The Parliament is expected to vote during the February II plenary on the ENVI committee's report on the proposal and on a mandate for interinstitutional trilogue negotiations.

Vaistai ir medicinos prietaisai

01-02-2018

Vaistai ir medicinos prietaisai yra produktai, kuriems taikomos bendrosios rinkos taisyklės, todėl kompetencija išduoti jų rinkodaros leidimus atliekant vertinimą ir vykdant priežiūrą suteikta ES. Siekiant saugoti visuomenės sveikatą, prieš į rinką pateikiant naujus vaistus, skirtus naudoti žmonėms, tam turi būti išduotas leidimas taikant arba centralizuotą Europos vaistų agentūros (EMA) procedūrą, arba tai decentralizuotai turi padaryti nacionalinės agentūros. Medicinos prietaisų atveju reikalaujama ...

Vaistai ir medicinos prietaisai yra produktai, kuriems taikomos bendrosios rinkos taisyklės, todėl kompetencija išduoti jų rinkodaros leidimus atliekant vertinimą ir vykdant priežiūrą suteikta ES. Siekiant saugoti visuomenės sveikatą, prieš į rinką pateikiant naujus vaistus, skirtus naudoti žmonėms, tam turi būti išduotas leidimas taikant arba centralizuotą Europos vaistų agentūros (EMA) procedūrą, arba tai decentralizuotai turi padaryti nacionalinės agentūros. Medicinos prietaisų atveju reikalaujama, kad privačiojo sektoriaus organizacijos, vadinamos notifikuotomis įstaigomis, taikytų detalią su patekimu į rinką susijusią reglamentavimo sistemą; šiuo metu vyksta peržiūros ir naujas teisėkūros požiūris įsigalios 2017 m.

Maisto sauga

01-02-2018

Europos maisto saugos politikos tikslai yra dvejopi: saugoti žmonių sveikatą ir vartotojų interesus ir skatinti sklandų Europos bendrosios rinkos veikimą. Todėl Europos Sąjunga rūpinasi, kad maisto produktų ir pašarų higienos, gyvūnų sveikatos, augalų sveikatos ir maisto taršos išorinėmis medžiagomis prevencijos srityse būtų nustatyti kontrolės standartai ir kad jų būtų laikomasi. Sąjunga taip pat reglamentuoja maisto produktų ir pašarų ženklinimą.

Europos maisto saugos politikos tikslai yra dvejopi: saugoti žmonių sveikatą ir vartotojų interesus ir skatinti sklandų Europos bendrosios rinkos veikimą. Todėl Europos Sąjunga rūpinasi, kad maisto produktų ir pašarų higienos, gyvūnų sveikatos, augalų sveikatos ir maisto taršos išorinėmis medžiagomis prevencijos srityse būtų nustatyti kontrolės standartai ir kad jų būtų laikomasi. Sąjunga taip pat reglamentuoja maisto produktų ir pašarų ženklinimą.

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