Protection of consumers’ interests - at the centre of newly agreed EU programme (2014-2020)

23 October 2013, Last updated at, 18:01 EET
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author: PantherMedia/Scanpix

Today, 23 October, Committee of Permanent Representatives (COREPER I) approved the agreement on the Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on a consumer programme 2014-2020, which will support EU consumer policy. It aims to place consumers at the centre of the Single Market by enhancing product safety through effective market surveillance, improving consumers' information, education and awareness of their rights, consolidating consumer rights and strengthening effective redress, especially through alternative dispute resolution.

“The citizens should be empowered to play a full role in the EU Single market. Their right to buy goods and services cross-border within the EU should be guaranteed, as well as increased confidence in quality and safety of these purchases. This is an important incentive for growth of EU economy,” said Minister of Justice of Lithuania Juozas Bernatonis. He also thanked the European Parliament and the Commission for constructive cooperation during negotiations on this important dossier. 

In the final trilogue between the Lithuanian EU Council Presidency, the European Parliament and the European Commission which took place on 15 October 2013, the co-legislators reached the political agreement on the Consumer programme.

This programme sets financial framework for many actions that will be financed to improve consumer protection throughout the Union. These actions include financing of joint cooperation actions between Member States market surveillance authorities and supporting Union level consumer organizations. One of the most important actions that will be financed under this programme is development of EU-wide online dispute resolution platform. This platform will link national alternative dispute resolution entities and enable EU consumer and traders to submit dispute arising from online purchases in their national languages online.

189 million EUR (in 2011 prices) is allocated to the Consumer programme for the period of 2014 - 2020.This Programme is the successor to the 2007-2013 Programme of Community Action in the field of consumer policy.

After today’s endorsement of the outcome of the final trilogue, the chair of the Permanent Representatives Committee (COREPER I) signed a letter to be sent to the IMCO Committee of the European Parliament.

Background

The proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on a consumer programme 2014-2020 was adopted on 9 November 2011. The IMCO Committee voted a draft report in June 2012 and decided in September 2012 to launch negotiations with the Council.

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