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New consumer agenda

Briefing 03-02-2021

Consumer expenditure accounted for 52.6 % of European Union gross domestic product (GDP) in 2019. Meanwhile, in the same year, one in five consumers said they had had at least one reason to complain about a purchase the previous year – a number largely unchanged for a decade. Increasingly, consumers do their shopping online. One in six people bought at least one item online in 2019. Yet while online shopping is now ubiquitous, European rules have lagged behind. On 13 November 2020, the European Commission ...

This paper defines loot boxes and describes their behavioural effects, including problematic behaviour. It examines the regulatory framework at EU and national level within which loot boxes operate, provides an overview of public and industry practices, and derives recommendations. Framing the debate around loot boxes, away from gambling and towards consumer protection, would provide the EU with an array of tools to address problematic practices and minimise potential harm, especially for minors. ...

European consumers enjoy a high level of rights, but when the rules protecting them are broken, they need to be enforced. The main goals of enforcement are to prevent and punish infringements, and to enable consumers harmed by infringements to get wrongs put right (consumer redress). In the 2019 consumer conditions scoreboard poll, one in five consumers said that they had encountered problems when buying a product or service in the previous 12 months. However, whereas two thirds of them had complained ...

On 11 April 2018, the European Commission adopted a proposal for a directive on better enforcement and modernisation of EU consumer protection rules, as part of its 'new deal for consumers' package of measures. The proposal followed a fitness check of consumer legislation and an evaluation of the Consumer Rights Directive that showed that EU consumer legislation could benefit from certain aspects being clarified and brought into line with the reality of the digital economy. Following negotiations ...

The following in-depth analysis explores economic benefits of policy achievements related to European Consumer Protection. Theoretical background indicates that measures aimed at improving consumer protection should provide mostly positive wider economic impact. Analysed studies related to EU legislation provide numerous evidence that it is the case indeed, however frequently lack quantification of effects. Some areas open for additional intervention are suggested in the study. This document was ...

This study contains an analysis of the legal aspects of protecting European consumers, advanced during the 7th and 8th legislative period of the European Parliament (2009 - 2019). It examines policy developments in the area of consumer protection and (digital) single market, and identifies new substantive rights offered to EU consumers. This document was provided by Policy Department A at the request of the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection.

As part of efforts to improve compliance with consumer protection rules, the European Commission has proposed a directive on representative actions for the protection of collective interests of consumers. The proposal, presented as part of the 'New Deal for Consumers', aims to enable consumers across the EU to use representative actions to demand compensation from companies that infringe their rights. The European Parliament is expected to vote on its first-reading position during the March II plenary ...

EU consumer protection rules

Briefing 10-07-2018

The IA is aimed at underpinning new legislation in the field of consumer protection, as called for in various European Parliament resolutions. It represents a considerable body of work, based on extensive evaluation and consultation. Methodological weaknesses include the narrow range of options to calibrate the evaluation findings. Secondly, there are some presentation issues, which do not facilitate consideration of the Commission’s choices. For instance, the large space devoted to consultation ...

Following the creation of an internal market, in which goods should be able to circulate freely to the benefit of producers, traders and consumers alike, the digital revolution has both increased the chances for growth in trade and highlighted the existing obstacles, such as differences in the details of consumer protection legislation. Following an extensive evaluation exercise focused on a number of EU directives adopted over the years, the European Commission is keen to simplify, streamline and ...

Wide-ranging consumer protection: The European system has developed over 30 years, with direct benefits for consumers in various areas of their daily lives. High standards and more choice: EU rules impose the highest safety requirements in the world, not least for toys. Lower prices: Mobile phone roaming costs have decreased by 92 % since 2007 and will be abolished in June 2017. All European travellers will then 'roam like at home'. More safety: Thanks to EU road safety laws, Europe has the lowest ...