Parliamentary questions
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13 October 2020
Question for oral answer O-000066/2020
to the Commission
Rule 136
Anna Cavazzini
on behalf of the Verts/ALE Group
 Subject: Towards a new consumer agenda beyond 2020

The COVID-19 crisis has affected consumers in many ways, and stressed the need for a comprehensive and coherent vision of consumer policy which takes stock of recent developments and key policy priorities for a fair and sustainable recovery, including from a consumer perspective.

One of the policy priorities, as outlined in the European Green Deal and new Circular Economy Action Plan, is to empower consumers in the green transition by supporting their shift from traditional towards more sustainable consumption patterns. Within this framework, the emphasis is on providing reliable information to consumers about the characteristics of a product, including its lifespan and reparability. A legislative proposal is expected from the Commission for the second quarter of 2021. Ensuring that EU consumers are provided the same level of information is key to boosting sustainable consumption across the single market, and to avoiding further confusion.

1. Given this, does the Commission plan to introduce harmonised and mandatory labelling on expected lifespan, as well as an EU-wide repair score? Will this information requirement only apply to certain product categories, or will horizontal requirements be introduced?

2. How does the Commission intend to tackle the problem of consumers being confronted with false environmental claims, and ensure that such claims can only be made if they are clear, accurate and based on scientific evidence, so as not to mislead consumers?

Legislation without effective enforcement puts at risk consumers’ trust and confidence in the single market, and creates further confusion and questions about their rights – as proven by the COVID-19 pandemic and recent decisions by some Member States detrimental to passenger rights under EU legislation. This illustrates the need for more consistent and coordinated enforcement of EU consumer and single market rules, at EU level and between Member States, especially at a time of increased cross-border transactions due to the rise of e-commerce, in particular from countries outside the EU.

3. How will the new consumer agenda address this problem and establish a long-term strategy to ensure increased cooperation between Member States on enforcement, as well as reinforced instruments for market surveillance, such as uniform rules (penalties and checks) and better EU oversight mechanisms?

Submitted: 13/10/2020

Lapses: 14/01/2021

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