We need to improve the protection of consumers’ rights, say S&Ds
S&D Euro MP Olga Sehnalová today secured a wide majority in the internal market and consumer protection committee on new rules to strengthen national authorities’ powers to enforce consumer rights.
The Consumer Protection Cooperation Regulation established in 2004 set up effective methods of cooperation between public authorities responsible for enforcing consumers’ rights.
Giving the increasing challenges posed by e-commerce and EU wide infringements, this reform is key to empower consumers’ rights by giving the national authorities far reaching powers; including the power to impose fines and penalty payments and order the trader to compensate consumers that have suffered harm as a consequence of the infringement including, amongst others, monetary compensation.
Olga Sehnalová said after the vote:
“This regulation has a big potential to significantly strengthen cross-border cooperation between authorities in the area of enforcement of consumer protection laws.
“As traders increasingly operate across the internal market, we need efficient mechanisms when something goes wrong.”
S&D Group spokesperson for the internal market and consumer protection committee, Nicola Danti, added:
“This regulation sets up modern and more effective cooperation mechanisms that will strengthen the protection of consumers in the EU. This is a positive step forward to guarantee the competent authorities have the sufficient powers to better sanction infringements suffered by EU consumers and to ensure they are fully protected, especially in the e-commerce sector.”
The new rules also give the European Commission an ex-officio right to initiate a co-ordinated action against a faulty economic operator, when half of the EU citizens from at least half of the member states are concerned by the alleged infringement.
S&Ds have succeeded in imposing a better role for external organisations in the alert mechanism, allowing consumer organisations to post alerts and to receive feedback on the follow up actions from the competent authorities or the Commission.