On 28 November, the European Commission published the 2019 version of the Consumer Conditions Scoreboard. The report shows that the gap between consumer conditions in different regions of the EU is narrowing, that consumers are becoming more aware of their environmental footprint, and that consumer rules enable trust in the marketplace. “The latest figures show that over 70% of consumers trust retailers to respect their rights, but they also show that work to improve consumer conditions and trust must continue. And the New Deal for Consumers will indeed further strengthen the hand of consumers and authorities. I am glad to see that consumers are increasingly aware of their environmental footprint when shopping. As the Christmas season approaches, I encourage all consumers to engage with trustworthy traders, know their rights, and indeed buy responsibly.” stated Věra Jourová, EU Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality.
The Consumer Conditions Scoreboard is published yearly by the European Commission and monitors national conditions for consumer knowledge and trust, compliance and enforcement and complaints and dispute resolution. The report also examines the progress in the integration of the European retail market and e-commerce. The main sources of data are surveys filled in by consumers and retailers from EU Member States and Norway and Iceland.
The most relevant findings are:
- Consumer conditions are declining in western Europe, but improve in other parts of the EU. Southern and eastern EU countries are narrowing the gap with the EU average.
- More and more consumers take up e-commerce, but they have lower confidence in buying online from other EU countries than from domestic traders.
- EU consumers increasingly consider the environmental impact of their purchases. The more environmentally conscious EU consumers are those in southern (59%) and eastern European countries (57%).
- More than 70% of consumers trust retailers to respect their consumer rights and over 60% have had positive experiences with traders when making a complaint.
- Retailers positively assess compliance with consumer legislation in their sector, and this is linked to an appreciation for enforcement activities.
- More than half of consumers are influenced by green claims when making purchases.
More information about the Consumer Conditions Scoreboard and a factsheet can be found here.