DSE speaks at the Czech Senate

Wednesday, 29 January, 2014

On 28 January 2014, Oscar Arias, Managing Director of DSE, participated in the seminar “Consumer Protection within the Internal Market”, organized in Prague under the auspices of the first vice-president of the Czech Senate and Mrs. Olga Sehnalová MEP.

Mr. Arias presented a comprehensive overview of the current EU legal framework as regards consumers affairs: EU legislation on the issue is modern, comprehensive, detailed and stringent enough, providing a win-win situation for both consumers and businesses. EU legislation, and particularly the Directive on Unfair Commercial Practices (2005/29/EC), provides a modern approach with maximum harmonisation for the protection of consumers, prohibiting misleading and aggressive practices across the EU-28. At the same time, the Directive facilitates new businesses opportunities for SMEs across the EU while providing legal certainty for businesses irrespective of the EU Member State within the internal market.

According to DSE, implementation and enforcement of EU legislation is, however, lagging behind. To date, more than 8 years after the adoption of the Directive on Unfair Commercial Practices, its implementation varies substantially across the EU, creating a distorted market with different rights and obligations for consumers and business, depending on the country where they are based. DSE calls on the European Commission to take a more proactive approach to ensure that EU legislation on consumers affairs is implemented correctly by Member States. The European Commission should open infringement procedures against non-compliant Member States as a matter of urgency. Furthermore, DSE calls on Member States to devote adequate personnel and financial resources to ensure that EU and national legislation is properly enforced by the national authorities.

In addition to Mr. Arias, other speakers represented the following organisations:

  • Ministry of Industry and Trade
  • Czech Trade Inspection Authority
  • Customs Administration
  • dTEST, national consumers’ organisation
  • DG SANCO, European Commission
  • Chamber of Labour of Upper Austria

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