Table of Contents
Quotation: Ovecchia, C. 2013: Introduction to the economic Impact Area Consumers and Households. Available at: http://beta.liaise-toolbox.eu/node/1183
This area focuses on the protection of health, safety and economic interests of consumers. Aspects to be considered in order to assess the likely effects of policies on this impact area include: consumer representation and education; consumer health and safety; the economic interest of consumers.
This impact area is further specified by the taxonomy terms: Prices for Consumer Goods, Internal Market for Consumer Goods, Consumer Goods Quality and Diversity, Consumer Protection, Consumer and Household Incomes, Economic Safety of Family and Children.
The EU consumer policy has been expressed in a series of action plans. The first was in 1990 and the last action plan was adopted in 2007 for the period 2007-2013. The priorities of the strategy are to:
- Increase consumer confidence in the internal market – which contributes to the improvement of business competitiveness – by establishing a uniform regulatory environment that is equally enforced across the European market and which effectively protects consumers.
- Strengthen consumers’ position in the marketplace by developing consumer education tools, the active support of EU consumer organisations, and their involvement in policy making.
- Ensure that consumers concerns are taken into account in all EU policies.
- Complement Member States’ consumer policies.
- Collect consumer-related data to support the development of legislative proposals and other initiatives.
Legal Basis for the Commission to Act
The European consumer protection policy is set out in Article 169 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. This policy promotes consumers’ rights to information and education, and their right to organise in order to defend their interests.
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