European Commission to launch New Deal for Consumers

Today, Justice and Consumers Commissioner Vera Jourová gathered ministers and high-level representatives from the current Estonian and upcoming Bulgarian and Austrian EU Presidencies, Members of the European Parliament, the Committee of the Regions, the Social and Economic Committee and consumer rights and business representatives to rally support for a New Deal for Consumers.

In September in his State of the Union, President Juncker said that he was “shocked when consumers are knowingly and deliberately misled”. The same day he announced a New Deal for Consumers. “In response to mass-harm cases, such as the 2015 "Dieselgate" scandal or the massive 2017 flights cancellation affecting hundreds of thousands of consumers across the EU, the New Deal for Consumer is aimed at ensuring cheaper and more effective means to stop and remedy breaches harming multiple EU consumers simultaneously.”

The European Consumer Organisation (BEUC) welcomes this important initiative. Action is needed: there is a problem for consumers to access justice and to join forces to confront powerful companies, to seek compensation for example, when things go wrong.

It demonstrates that the EU is responding to citizens’ concerns by giving them legal options to make markets more trustworthy. It is with such actions that the EU can show how it works for people, not just business.

BEUC agrees with Commissioner Jourová that EU consumer rules need to be adapted to today's global trends and new business practices. Consumers should always be protected regardless of whether they pay for products with money or provide for in-kind payments, including data as counter-performance. And online platforms need to be better in informing consumers about their rights and assume responsibility if something goes wrong.

BEUC is committed in playing its part to help get the legislation adopted under this legislature. We will work with our national consumer groups for this New Deal to become a priority not only in Brussels, but also in all Member States.

BEUC hopes that the New Deal will be ambitious and find supporters among all EU institutions. Their presence at today’s launch event was a hopeful sign in this respect.