Improving cooperation between national consumer authorities to improve consumer protection across the EU

Today the European Parliament approved the new framework ensuring Consumer Protection Cooperation. Proposed by the Commission in May 2016, the Regulation aims at improving the EU-wide cooperation mechanism for consumer protection. This legislation is part of the Commission’s efforts to update consumer rules. The Commission will present its New deal for Consumers next spring. Věra Jourová, Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality, said: “Recent affairs that have damaged consumer trust, such as ‘Dieselgate’ or discussions about the dual quality of food, have revealed the need for better consumer law enforcement. With this new cooperation framework, when there is a widespread breach of consumer law, the Commission and national authorities will be able to swiftly respond in order to protect consumers across the EU.”Once in force, the new framework will give public authorities stronger powers to investigate and stop illegal practices. These new rules will introduce a quick and more efficient cross-border cooperation mechanism between national enforcers. When the Commission becomes aware of an issue affecting at least two thirds of Member States and two thirds of the EU population, it will be able to call on national authorities to investigate the case. If the conclusion of such an investigation reveals that EU laws are being breached, the Commission will coordinate the cross-border follow-up actions the authorities should take. The rules also address the need to better enforce EU consumer law, especially online. Once the new Regulation is published in the Official Journal, Member States will have up to 24 months to make sure their consumer authorities are ready to meet the new standards. Further details are available in the factsheet.