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Immigration policy

EU Fact Sheets 10-07-2024

A forward-looking and comprehensive European immigration policy, based on solidarity, is a key objective for the European Union. Immigration policy is intended to establish a balanced approach to dealing with both regular and irregular immigration.

Effective consumer protection policy ensures that the single market functions properly. It safeguards consumers’ rights against merchants and provides extra protection for vulnerable consumers. Consumer protection rules can boost market outcomes overall. They promote fairer markets and, with better consumer information, foster greener, more social outcomes. Empowering consumers and safeguarding their interests are key EU policy goals.

The Council of the European Union

EU Fact Sheets 01-07-2024

Together with Parliament, the Council is the institution that adopts EU legislation through regulations and directives and prepares decisions and non-binding recommendations. In its areas of competence, it takes its decisions by a simple majority, a qualified majority or unanimously, according to the legal basis of the act requiring its approval.

Consumer protection measures

EU Fact Sheets 01-07-2024

European measures for consumer protection are intended to protect the health, safety, and economic and legal interests of European consumers, wherever they live, travel or shop in the EU. EU provisions regulate both physical transactions and e-commerce, and contain rules of general applicability together with provisions targeting specific products, including medicines, genetically modified organisms, tobacco products, cosmetics, toys and explosives.

Intellectual property includes all exclusive rights to intellectual creations. It encompasses two types of rights: industrial property, which includes inventions (patents), trademarks, industrial designs and models and designations of origin, and copyright, which includes artistic and literary property. Since the entry into force of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) in 2009, the EU has had explicit competence for intellectual property rights (Article 118).

Information and communication technologies (ICTs), as well as data services, now surpass traditional telephone services in importance for both consumers and businesses. With the surge in on-demand content and 4G/5G growth, the EU has introduced a telecommunications regulatory framework. This encompasses all types of telecommunications, including broadcasting. Research indicates that these services contribute EUR 86.1 billion to the EU’s GDP annually, with new measures potentially adding another EUR ...

Free movement of goods

EU Fact Sheets 26-06-2024

The free movement of goods was bolstered by eliminating customs duties as well as other non-tariff barriers. Principles like mutual recognition and standardisation further advanced the internal market. The 2008 New Legislative Framework enhanced the movement of goods, EU market surveillance, and the CE (European Conformity) mark. Yet, challenges on internal market harmonisation remain, as the COVID-19 pandemic and other factors can still hinder the full free movement of goods.

Moves towards closer European integration have altered the role of the national parliaments. A number of instruments for cooperation between the European Parliament and the national parliaments have been introduced with a view to guaranteeing effective democratic scrutiny of European legislation at all levels. This trend has been reinforced by provisions introduced by the Lisbon Treaty.

The European Ombudsman

EU Fact Sheets 26-06-2024

The European Ombudsman conducts inquiries into cases of maladministration by European Union institutions, bodies, offices and agencies, acting on their own initiative or on the basis of complaints from EU citizens, or any natural or legal person residing or having their registered office in a Member State. The Ombudsman is elected by the European Parliament for the duration of the parliamentary term.

Equality between men and women

EU Fact Sheets 26-06-2024

Equality between women and men is one of the objectives of the European Union. Over time, legislation, case-law and changes to the Treaties have helped consolidate this principle and its implementation in the EU. The European Parliament has always been a fervent defender of the principle of equality between men and women.