COVID-19 recovery: Consumer groups write to Council of the EU Presidency trio
BEUC and its members from Germany, Portugal and Slovenia – whose countries form the current Council of the EU Presidency trio – underline the value of consumer policy as a driver for a sustainable recovery and a fair digital society.
On October 16, the Presidency trio issued a joint report about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on consumer policy. This comes just ahead of the European Commission adopting its consumer priorities for 2021-2027 – known as the ‘Consumer Agenda’ – which is slated for November 11.
Amidst the EU’s recovery plan for Europe, consumers will go through a profound transition, be it for the green or digital aspects of our markets and societies.
Here lies an essential role for consumer policy, write Örjan Brinkman (BEUC), Klaus Müller (Verbraucherzentrale Bundesverband), Luis Silveira Rodrigues (DECO) and Breda Kutin (Zveza Potrošnikov Slovenije – ZPS) as they detail a set of recommendations to EU decision-makers.
The signatories emphasise that, firstly, consumer policy is indispensable to the green transition because it can bring about changes in how we produce and consume, thereby ensuring people’s buy-in.
Secondly, they urge policy-makers to adapt consumer law in order to tackle people’s digital vulnerability. EU and national decision-makers should consider establishing a principle of ‘protection by design and by default’ in this regard.