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Modernisation of EU consumer protection rules: A new deal for consumers

15-04-2019

On 11 April 2018, the European Commission adopted a proposal for a directive on better enforcement and modernisation of EU consumer protection rules, as part of its 'new deal for consumers' package of measures. The proposal followed a fitness check of consumer legislation and an evaluation of the Consumer Rights Directive showed that the EU consumer legislation is fit for purpose, but could benefit from certain aspects being clarified and brought into line with the reality of the digital economy. ...

On 11 April 2018, the European Commission adopted a proposal for a directive on better enforcement and modernisation of EU consumer protection rules, as part of its 'new deal for consumers' package of measures. The proposal followed a fitness check of consumer legislation and an evaluation of the Consumer Rights Directive showed that the EU consumer legislation is fit for purpose, but could benefit from certain aspects being clarified and brought into line with the reality of the digital economy. The proposal, which would amend four consumer protection directives, focuses on various consumer issues, including penalties for infringements, transparency on online marketplaces, protection for consumers of 'free' digital services, the right of withdrawal and dual quality of products. On 21 March 2019, Parliament and the Council reached provisional agreement on the proposal. The agreement rejects the proposed changes that would weaken the right of withdrawal. It bans several unfair commercial practices in all circumstances, and allows dual quality of products to be declared as misleading on a case-by-case basis. Parliament is expected to vote on the provisional agreement during the April II plenary session. Third edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Quality Differences in Consumer Products In the EU Legislation

30-11-2018

This study, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the PETI Committee, deals with so called dual quality products, that is goods (food products, detergents, cosmetics, toiletries and products intended for babies, etc.) marketed on the Single Market under the same brand or trademark but with differences in content, composition or quality in individual EU Member States. The issue of dual quality products is one of ...

This study, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the PETI Committee, deals with so called dual quality products, that is goods (food products, detergents, cosmetics, toiletries and products intended for babies, etc.) marketed on the Single Market under the same brand or trademark but with differences in content, composition or quality in individual EU Member States. The issue of dual quality products is one of the recent issues that the EU has only begun to focus on in recent years. Initially, it was rather an individual initiative of the individual MEPs, subsequently the European Parliament as a whole and the European Commission began to deal with it. The European Commission issued several legal standards that initially interpreted the existing legal regulation, later directly identified dual quality as an unfair commercial practice.

Parlamendiväline autor

doc. JUDr. Blanka VÍTOVÁ, Vice-dean for Science and Research, Palacký University Olomouc (Czech Republic)

EU consumer protection rules

10-07-2018

The IA is aimed at underpinning new legislation in the field of consumer protection, as called for in various European Parliament resolutions. It represents a considerable body of work, based on extensive evaluation and consultation. Methodological weaknesses include the narrow range of options to calibrate the evaluation findings. Secondly, there are some presentation issues, which do not facilitate consideration of the Commission’s choices. For instance, the large space devoted to consultation ...

The IA is aimed at underpinning new legislation in the field of consumer protection, as called for in various European Parliament resolutions. It represents a considerable body of work, based on extensive evaluation and consultation. Methodological weaknesses include the narrow range of options to calibrate the evaluation findings. Secondly, there are some presentation issues, which do not facilitate consideration of the Commission’s choices. For instance, the large space devoted to consultation comes at the expense of useful and more sound information.

Application of the Unfair Commercial Practices Directive: Overview of the Commission's May 2016 guidance document

18-01-2017

Consumers may find it difficult to identify potentially harmful or unfair practices when entering into a transactional relationship with traders. Similarly, businesses and enforcement authorities may sometimes have problems applying and interpreting EU legislation in relation to commercial practices. While it is the Court of Justice that has competence to interpret EU legislation, the European Commission published legally non-binding guidance on the implementation/application of the Directive on ...

Consumers may find it difficult to identify potentially harmful or unfair practices when entering into a transactional relationship with traders. Similarly, businesses and enforcement authorities may sometimes have problems applying and interpreting EU legislation in relation to commercial practices. While it is the Court of Justice that has competence to interpret EU legislation, the European Commission published legally non-binding guidance on the implementation/application of the Directive on Unfair Commercial Practices in May 2016, which aims to clarify some of the issues that have arisen since the adoption of the directive.

Business Marketing Directive: Implementation Appraisal

01-10-2015

Although there has not been yet any specific legislative proposal to amend Directive 2006/114 concerning misleading and comparative advertising, the intention of the European Commission to simplify and consolidate this Directive may tackle some of the problems connected with the current legislation. Parliament repeatedly called for changes and further actions in this field, in particular with regard to prevention of misleading marketing practices and urging the EU Member States to enhance their mutual ...

Although there has not been yet any specific legislative proposal to amend Directive 2006/114 concerning misleading and comparative advertising, the intention of the European Commission to simplify and consolidate this Directive may tackle some of the problems connected with the current legislation. Parliament repeatedly called for changes and further actions in this field, in particular with regard to prevention of misleading marketing practices and urging the EU Member States to enhance their mutual and cross-border cooperation. In this context, Parliament also often expressed its worries about the current misleading marketing practice of misleading directory companies. Furthermore, Parliament pointed to various inconsistencies with regard to implementation and enforcement of the directive and called for its better implementation and better monitoring. The studies and reports suggested that a revision of the rules prohibiting certain marketing practices strengthening the enforcement of these rules in cross-border cases is needed. Such potential changes can have an impact on legal certainty and improve the prevention of misleading marketing practices. These inconsistencies and implementation and enforcement of the directive present challenges for the legislative proposal which the Commission intends to adopt by the end of 2015.

Consumer protection aspects of mobile payments

22-06-2015

Over the next few years, mobile commerce in Europe is expected to grow at an average compound annual rate of 42%. The way in which consumers purchase goods and services is changing significantly as new technologies permit the development of an increasing number of cashless payment solutions. There are various forms of mobile payment (payment, for which the payment data and the payment instruction is initiated, transmitted or confirmed via a mobile phone or device). They include payments via SMS, ...

Over the next few years, mobile commerce in Europe is expected to grow at an average compound annual rate of 42%. The way in which consumers purchase goods and services is changing significantly as new technologies permit the development of an increasing number of cashless payment solutions. There are various forms of mobile payment (payment, for which the payment data and the payment instruction is initiated, transmitted or confirmed via a mobile phone or device). They include payments via SMS, direct billing (by adding the payment to the monthly mobile phone bill), mobile web payments (using a credit/debit card or pre-registration at an online payment provider), and Near Field Communication (NFC). However some of the challenges to consumer protection, such as lack of interoperability between mobile payment options, personal data protection, digital identity theft and fraud, prevent greater consumer take-up of mobile payments. Unfair commercial practices in e-commerce relevant to mobile payments include misleading advertising, hidden payment obligation and IP tracking. Other consumer protection issues are dormant assets, lack of accessibility and readability of payment-related information, and concerns related to vulnerable consumers. While the current legislative framework is undergoing revision as a result of the European Commission's new proposal for a Directive on payment services in the internal market, some stakeholders voice concerns.

Payment Accounts: Initial Appraisal of the Commission's Impact Assessment

15-10-2013

This note seeks to provide an initial analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the European Commission's Impact Assessment (IA) accompanying its proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the comparability of fees related to payment accounts, payment account switching and access to payment accounts with basic features (COM (2013) 266 final), submitted by the Commission in May 2013. It analyses whether the principal criteria laid down in the Commission’s own Impact ...

This note seeks to provide an initial analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the European Commission's Impact Assessment (IA) accompanying its proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the comparability of fees related to payment accounts, payment account switching and access to payment accounts with basic features (COM (2013) 266 final), submitted by the Commission in May 2013. It analyses whether the principal criteria laid down in the Commission’s own Impact Assessment Guidelines, as well as additional factors identified by the Parliament in its Impact Assessment Handbook, appear to be met by the IA. It does not attempt to deal with the substance of the proposal.

New rules for responsible mortgage lending

05-09-2013

A new Directive on credit agreements relating to residential property aims to facilitate cross-border lending, protect consumers, and prevent irresponsible lending.

A new Directive on credit agreements relating to residential property aims to facilitate cross-border lending, protect consumers, and prevent irresponsible lending.

Towards a reform of EU law on package travel

05-08-2013

The tourist sector is an important part of the EU's economy, generating 10% of its GDP. The internet and the rise of low-cost airlines have changed both business approaches and consumer behaviour patterns. Instead of traditional pre-arranged packages, many tourists now either combine the different elements of their holidays themselves or purchase customised packages. In July 2013, the Commission presented a proposal for a new Directive on package travel and assisted travel arrangements. It is aimed ...

The tourist sector is an important part of the EU's economy, generating 10% of its GDP. The internet and the rise of low-cost airlines have changed both business approaches and consumer behaviour patterns. Instead of traditional pre-arranged packages, many tourists now either combine the different elements of their holidays themselves or purchase customised packages. In July 2013, the Commission presented a proposal for a new Directive on package travel and assisted travel arrangements. It is aimed at adapting the legal framework to the challenges of the digital era. The European Parliament has supported the idea of reforming the law on package travel in two resolutions.

Misleading Packaging Practices

15-12-2011

The briefing note answers the question of whether EU legislation on misleading packaging practices is required. For this purpose, 13 national reports have been analysed, which examined the situation in the respective countries. Available material on consumers’ awareness, attitudes and behaviour has been explored. Consumer organisation enquiries have been conducted. Furthermore, it was analysed whether misleading packaging practices fall foul with existing EU legislation. Possible solutions are also ...

The briefing note answers the question of whether EU legislation on misleading packaging practices is required. For this purpose, 13 national reports have been analysed, which examined the situation in the respective countries. Available material on consumers’ awareness, attitudes and behaviour has been explored. Consumer organisation enquiries have been conducted. Furthermore, it was analysed whether misleading packaging practices fall foul with existing EU legislation. Possible solutions are also discussed.

Parlamendiväline autor

Margaretha Lawrynowicz National reports prepared by : Shaun Charlton (France, United Kingdom), Tina Kalouta (Cyprus), Margaretha Lawrynowicz (Germany, Poland), Evangelos Margaritis (Greece), Geo Margi (Italy), Ieva Navickaite-Sakalauskiene (Lithuania), José Carlos de Medeiros Nóbrega (Portugal), Magda Schusterova (Czech Republic), Susan Singleton (Ireland), Dimitar Stoimenov (Bulgaria) and Ferenc Szilágyi (Hungary)

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