New Consumer Programmes by EU Commission
The European Commission adopted proposals for the new Health for Growth and Consumer Programmes. The two programmes aim to foster a Europe of healthy, active, informed and empowered citizens, who can contribute to economic growth.
These new programmes will run from 2014-2020 with a budget of € 197 million for the Consumer Programme. Focus will be on fewer concrete actions that offer clear EU added-value.
The Consumer Programme will support EU consumer policy in the years to come. Its objective is to place consumers at the centre of the Single Market and empower them to participate actively in the market and make it work for them, particularly 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;
- Strengthening enforcement of rights cross-border.
In announcing the new Health and Consumer programmes, Commissioner Dalli said, ”These two programmes are about people; about fostering the conditions for people to live to their full potential and play a key role in society and in the economy. Keeping people healthy and active for longer is good for people and is good for jobs and growth. Confident, empowered consumers create thriving markets. I am confident the two programmes will make a significant contribution to achieving Europe 2020goals – to create smart, sustainable and inclusive growth by the end of this decade”.
What the programmes aim to achieve
This programme aims to build on the previous programme by focussing action on empowerment of the consumer through safety, information and education, rights and redress and enforcement actions. Actions will focus on:
- Monitoring and enforcing safety through EU-wide systems such as RAPEX, the EU rapid alert system for dangerous consumer products
- Information and education initiatives to make consumers, particularly young consumers, aware of their rights. This includes also the continuing development of the evidence base for better policy making at both EU and national level on consumer issues, with, for example, the Consumer Markets Scoreboard which maps out the markets that fail consumers in Europe;
- Delivering legislation aimed at enhancing consumer rights, for example the Consumer Credit Directive which ensures that consumers across Europe enjoy a common set of core rights, including the right to receive clear and comparable information before committing themselves financially; and Redress, where good preparatory work has been done, particularly, on Alternative Dispute Resolution.
- Enforcement action through ”Sweeps” operations, which are co-ordinated by the European Commission and carried out simultaneously by national consumer enforcement authorities to see where consumer rights are being compromised or denied;
These new EU programmes build on the ongoing Health and Consumer Programmes, which provide valuable opportunities for Member States to invest in health and consumer protection. The current programmes run until the end of 2013.
The new Health and Consumer Programmes are part of the EU’s financial priorities for 2014-2020 (the EU Multiannual Financial Framework), which was announced by the European Commission in June.
For information on the Multiannual Financial Framework 2014-2020 please see:
For information on the 2008-2013 Health Programme “Together for Health”
For information on the 2008-2013 Consumer Programme:
Source: Website of EU Commission
Commissioner John Dalli’s website: