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European Commission Project

Consumer Champion is a capacity building programme of the European Commission, managed by the Consumers, Health, Agriculture and Food Executive Agency (Chafea) to support and develop the capacity of consumer organisations and other entities with similar objectives from EU Member states, EEA and candidate countries.

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Belgium
06.03.18

Enhancing Consumer Protection in the EU

Enhancing Consumer Protection in the EU: Preserving Consumers’ Rights in the Digital Society 

Several scandals in recent years, from the ‘Dieselgate’ to the massive volume of flight cancellations of 2017, have revealed certain shortcomings of EU consumers’ rights protection system and the difficulty for national authorities to address mass scale breaches, ensuring swift and appropriate redress. According to the 2017 EU Consumer Conditions Scoreboard, almost a third of consumers that encountered a problem worth complaining about decided not to do it. Among the reasons preventing them from complaining were: the length of procedures (32.5%); previous unsuccessful complaints (16.3%); uncertainty about where to address the complaint (15.1%) and about consumer rights(15.5%).

In May 2017, the European Commission completed its REFIT Fitness Check of EU consumer and marketing law and the evaluation of the Consumer Rights Directive. According to the results, European consumers already enjoy a common high level of protection, but further efforts are needed to better enforce consumer protection laws. Consistently with what President Junker stated in his letter of intent in September 2017, the Commission announced in its 2018 Work Programme a ‘New Deal for Consumers’, aimed at improving possibilities of redress of consumer rights, as well as facilitating the coordination of national consumer authorities. Within this context, in July 2017 the Commission launched the Inception Impact Assessments for the revision of the most important directives and opened them for public consultation.

Consumer protection needs to be fit for today’s digital world. One of the Digital Market Strategy's pillars is to ensure better access to digital goods and services across Europe. To this end, action is required to counter factors of market segmentation and unjustified restriction, including direct and indirect discrimination based on consumers’ residence. The value of e-Commerce is growing at an unprecedented pace, yet the complexity of the legal framework and the differences in national laws still cause discouraging costs and uncertainties about key contractual rights, undermining both businesses’ and consumers’ confidence. In this regard, the Commission presented a proposal to tackle national contract law-related barriers that hamper cross-border online trade and, willing to avoid fragmentation and design a coherent legal framework and in October 2017 it adopted further amendments to also cover face-to-face cross-border sales.

This timely symposium will provide an invaluable opportunity for experts, national consumer authorities, consumer organisations, business representatives and other key stakeholders to discuss the latest and forthcoming legislative initiatives concerning the protection of European consumers. 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, supporting the exchange of information and best practice from across Europe.


Delegates will:

  • Delve into the latest developments concerning the European legislative framework on consumer protection
  • Discuss options to better enforce consumer protection laws
  • Explore solutions for efficient and effective remedies against consumer rights infringements
  • Discuss ways to integrate consumer interests into the Digital Space
  • Evaluate means of protection against unfair business-to-consumer commercial practices online
  • Analyse methods to achieve successful cooperation across Europe
  • Consider actions to promote consumers’ and businesses’ confidence in e-Commerce
  • Exchange views on how to cope with emerging digital challenges to the protection of consumers

To view of brochure, including the full event programme, click here. 

Public Policy Exchange offers a 20% early registration discount off the standard delegate rates (subject to type of organisation and terms and conditions) for bookings received by the 26th January 2018.

In the meantime, to ensure your organisation is represented, please book online or complete and return the attached registration form at your earliest convenience in order to secure your delegate place(s).

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