On 30 November, European Commissioner Věra Jourová organized a high-level policy event to launch the campaign for the “New Deal for Consumers”, bringing together the representatives from the current Estonian and upcoming Bulgarian and Austrian Council Presidencies, the European Economic and Social Committee, key Members of the European Parliament as well as key consumer and business stakeholders, including Ecommerce Europe.
Taking into account the May 2017 results of the Fitness Check on EU Consumer and Marketing Law and President Juncker’s speech at the State of the Union, the European Commission wishes to open a dialogue to create the political momentum to make the necessary changes to EU Consumer Law. The evaluations of the consumer acquis confirm that, in general, consumer law remains largely fit for purpose. When applied effectively, the existing rules tackle the problems that European consumers are facing today, also in online markets. However, the Commission mentions that there is a need to improve awareness, enforcement of the rules and redress opportunities to make the best of the existing legislation.
Commissioner Jourová announced that the Commission is still working on the package “New Deal for Consumers” and they aim to present it in the first week of April 2018. The package will also include targeted amendments to existing EU consumer legislation. The Commission is asking for the support of both industry and consumer organizations, which should join forces on this package. In particular, the Commission wants to launch a communications campaign in each Member State and is asking for the cooperation of all stakeholders. The campaign is supposed to start around April 2018.
Overall, the representatives of the European Parliament, the Trio of the Council Presidency and the EESC welcomed the Commission’s plans, especially the fact of having an early dialogue and cooperation already before the publication of the package. Consumer and business organizations also welcomed the approach. The business generally stressed the fact that we need balanced solutions, taking into account the costs for businesses to adapt to the new rules when implemented.
Ecommerce Europe welcomes the Commission’s plans of setting an early dialogue on this new package and is looking forward to cooperating with all policymakers to ensure that the New Deal will balance consumer protection with business realities, taking into consideration specifically the interests of smaller online merchants.