Consumer rights

Consumer rights

The S&Ds have long been champions of stronger consumer protection, especially for vulnerable groups. We are fighting for better information and protection for consumers and for a ban on misleading practices.
 
Our key campaigns include:

 •Safe, high-quality healthcare for all EU citizens
 •Safe, high-quality food
 •Passenger rights on rail, air, road and seaQuick, affordable dispute resolution for consumers seeking redress 
•Protecting consumers online.
 
We believe the EU can make a huge difference to citizens' lives in the area of consumer rights and we have campaigned long and hard for improvements and protections.
 
Our priorities include:
 
Safe, high-quality healthcare for all EU citizens
 •The S&Ds won amendments to legislation on cross-border healthcare to ensure EU patients have the right to seek the best treatment and to safeguard the financial sustainability of national health systems
 •We have opposed cuts in health spending in EU countries, which hit the most vulnerable hardest
 •EU law on fake medical products has been tightened up
 •We are pressing for better regulation of internet sales of medicines
 •The S&Ds ensured that the EU law on organ donation and transplantation guarantees the best protection for living donors and cracks down on organ trafficking
 
Safe, high-quality food
 •We pushed through rules on food labelling, mandatory nutritional information and  'country of origin' labelling for fresh meat, despite opposition from conservative MEPs and the food industry
 
Passenger rights
 •Our MEPs successfully fought for enhanced rights for rail, air, road and boat passengers
 
Quick, affordable dispute resolution for consumers seeking redress
 •We have led the campaign for an EU-wide alternative dispute resolution system (ADR) and an online platform (ODR) to assist consumers in finding the right organisations to resolve cross-border disputes over goods and services. Traders now have the obligation to inform consumers about these tools for resolving disputes
 •We continue our efforts to have an EU-wide collective redress mechanism
 
Protecting consumers online
 •The S&Ds helped protect consumers against hidden charges by ensuring that traders have to disclose the total cost of a product or service
 •An EU-wide withdrawal period of 14-days is now mandatory, both offline and online, and consumers have to receive clear information when buying digital products

Related documents 
A new European Single Market with a strong social dimension: putting citizens and the real economy at the heart of EU legislation and policies
30/01/2014
Putting citizens at the heart of the Single Market
02/02/2011
Crossborder road safety
12/01/2011
Passengers' rights
05/01/2011
Patient rights in cross-border healthcare
15/05/2013
Food - putting consumers first
16/05/2013