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Consumer protection

Consumer protection

EU consumer policy (Article 169 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU)) seeks to protect consumers’ health, safety and economic interests, and promote their right to information, to education and to organise themselves in order to protect their interests. Article 12 of the TFEU also requires consumer protection to be taken into account when defining other European Union (EU) policies.

Consumer policy is a shared responsibility between the EU and EU Member States. Under Article 114 of the TFEU, decisions on measures to approximate (align) Member States’ consumer legislation are decided using the ordinary legislative procedure and after consulting the European Economic and Social Committee.

In certain circumstances, a Member State may keep or introduce stricter consumer protection measures than those laid down by the EU, as long as they are compatible with the treaty and the EU legislation, and as long as the European Commission is notified of them.