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Date : Thursday, 06 December 2018
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Strengthening Consumer Protection in the EU: Improving Enforcement and Cross-Border Collaboration

Consumer Protection
Date: Thursday, 06 December 2018 10:00 - 16:30

Venue: Central Brussels

Over the last decade EU consumer conditions have significantly improved. However, important challenges and variations across member states persist within the EU, as consumer conditions are indeed generally better in Northern and Western Europe compared to the Eastern and Southern Europe. The 2017 EU Consumer Conditions Scoreboard shows that while 29% of retailers find it difficult to comply with their own country’ s legislations, this number rises to 55% when retailers have to comply with other EU countries’ laws. Moreover, consumers’ trust in redress mechanisms remains on average at 46.8 % of the EU consumers.

In April 2018, the European Commission launched the New Deal for Consumers, based on two proposals to better enforce EU consumer protection laws. The first one suggests amending various EU Directives such as on consumer rights (2011/83/EU), unfair terms in consumer contracts (93/13/EEC) or on unfair business-to-consumer commercial practices (2005/29/EC). The second suggestion designs representative actions for the protection of the collective interests of consumers and repealing the Injunctions Directive 2009/22/EC. This proposal aims to improve tools for stopping illegal practices and facilitating redress for consumers, particularly in “mass harm situations” (e.g: “Dieselgate” scandal). These proposals are currently the subject of intense debates in the European Parliament and the Council.

Moreover, the New Deal for Consumer has as a main priority to strengthen consumer rights online and to ensure a better access to digital goods and services across Europe. To this end, further action is required to counter factors of market segmentation and unjustified restriction, as many obstacles hampering the development of e-commerce to its full potential remain. In that regard, the Commission’s New Deal pushes for more transparency in online market places and on search results on online platforms, and wishes to increase the consumer rights for “free” digital services. These new proposals have triggered reactions from the digital industry sector, claiming that a right balance has to be found between consumer protection and businesses’ ability to offer innovative products and services to consumers. 

In light of the proposed reforms, this timely symposium will provide an invaluable opportunity for experts, national consumer authorities, consumer organisations, business representatives and other key stakeholders to discuss latest policy developments on consumer protection, understand the implications of the New Deal for Consumers and examine strategies to implement robust consumer protection policies. It will also allow delegates to discuss the benefits and challenges of the successful integration of a common level of protection into the digital space and to exchange best practices from across Europe.

Delegates will:

  • Delve into the latest developments concerning the European legislative framework on consumer protection and particularly the "New deal for Consumers"
  • Examine strategies to better enforce consumer protection laws such as the regulation on geo-blocking
  • Explore solutions for efficient and effective remedies against consumer rights infringements
  • Consider ways to integrate consumer interests into the Digital Space
  • Exchange views on how to address emerging digital challenges hampering consumer protection and review relevant EU initiatives
  • Evaluate means of protection against unfair business-to-consumer commercial practices online
  • Analyse methods to enhance closer cooperation across Europe
  • Consider actions to promote consumers' and businesses' confidence in e-Commerce 

 

Telephone
+44 (0) 20 3137 8630
Email
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

All Dates


  • Thursday, 06 December 2018 10:00 - 16:30

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