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Summaries of EU legislation

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The European Union of 28 countries has just over half a billion potential consumers. The Member States have progressively developed measures aimed at safeguarding the specific interests of these consumers who play a vital economic and political role in society. Starting in the mid-1970s, the EU has endeavoured to harmonise these national measures in order to guarantee European citizens the same high level of protection throughout the single market.

The European policy in favour of consumers aims to safeguard the health, safety and interests of consumers, as set out in Article 169 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. This policy promotes consumers’ rights to information and education, and their right to organise in order to defend their interests.