European Consumer Day: Commission kicks off consumer awareness campaign

Friday, 14 March, 2014

With household budgets under pressure, EU consumer policy is there to ensure not only that consumers are treated fairly – but that they can get the best deal possible. The European Union's efforts over the last year to strengthen consumer rights are having a positive impact on consumer confidence: a vital element in Europe's economic recovery.

The next challenge is to ensure that consumers are aware of their rights under EU law so they can use them every day, when shopping online or on the high street. That's why the European Commission has kicked off today a consumer campaign informing citizens of their consumer rights under EU law and pointing them to the right places where they can get advice and help in case of questions or problems.

On the occasion of European Consumer Day, Vice President Reding, EU Justice Commissioner, said: “If businesses are the engine of the European economy, consumers are the drivers. If they feel confident, empowered and treated fairly they can shift the EU internal market into the highest gear – which is exactly what the European economy needs as it recovers from the financial crisis. The new rules on consumer rights which are becoming a reality across the EU are excellent news in this respect: no more pre-ticked boxes when you buy a plane ticket and no more rip-offs when you are paying with your credit card online. Better EU consumer protection rules will boost consumer confidence. More consumer confidence means more consumer spending, a win-win situation for the European Union."

Speaking at the European Consumer Day Conference in Thessaloniki EU Commissioner for Consumer Policy, Neven Mimica said: “European Consumer Day is about helping consumers realise their power, making them better aware of their rights and encouraging them to make full use of them in practice. This is the way to ensure that markets work for consumers and not the other way around. In the coming months I will be holding a series of "consumer missions" in countries where there is clear potential for fostering a stronger consumer culture. This is an effort that requires commitment from many sides: governments, consumer organisations, business and media all have a responsibility for making sure that consumer rights do not just exist on paper."

Over the last year substantial progress has been made not just in strengthening consumer rights on paper but in ensuring that these rights have an impact in practice.

The complete press release as well as the European Commission's consumer awareness campaign can be found here

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