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Summaries of EU Legislation

EU multiannual consumer programme (2014-20)

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EU multiannual consumer programme (2014-20)

The European Union (EU) Consumer Programme aims to ensure a high level of consumer protection and to empower consumers by means of information and education. Empowered consumers can better exercise their rights by organising themselves and thus play a more active role in the EU’s single market.

ACT

Regulation (EU) No 254/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 February 2014 on a multiannual consumer programme for the years 2014-20 and repealing Decision No 1926/2006/EC.

SUMMARY

The Consumer Programme has four main objectives:

  • Consolidate and increase product safety by means of effective market surveillance (this includes the EU’s rapid alert system for dangerous consumer products - RAPEX) throughout the EU; product safety is important for consumers but also for traders and manufacturers (whose competitiveness depends on compliance with safety standards);
  • Provide consumer information and education and support to consumer organisations, including taking into account the specific needs of vulnerable consumers;
  • Ensure consumer rights are respected and that consumers can get redress by means of smart regulatory action and better access to easy, efficient, rapid and low-cost redress (including out-of-court dispute resolution);
  • Better enforcement of laws by closer cooperation between national enforcement bodies and by supporting consumers with advice.

Annual work programmes

For the implementation of the Consumer Programme, the European Commission adopts annual work programmes which contain details of the actions to be funded and an indication of the budget available. Calls for tenders and proposals are published by the Consumers, Health, Agriculture and Food Executive Agency and by DG Justice and Consumers.

Funding

Funding is available under the programme for consumer organisations active at EU and national level, European Consumer Centres, EU countries’ authorities responsible for consumer affairs, as well as for international organisations that promote principles and policies that are in line with the programme’s objectives. Bodies that develop codes of conduct, best practices and guidelines for price comparison, product quality and sustainability are also eligible.

Levels of EU funding under the programme depend on the type of activity. These details are found in Article 8 of the regulation.

Eligibility

The programme is also open to European Free Trade Association (EFTA) countries in the European Economic Area, European Neighbourhood Policy partner countries, acceding states and candidate and potential candidate countries.

Budget

The budget for this programme is €188.83 million for the 2014-20 period.

For more information, see the European Commission’s website on the Consumer Programme.

REFERENCES

Act

Entry into force

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Regulation (EU) No 254/2014

21.3.2014

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OJ L 84 of 20.3.2014, p. 42-56

10.08.2014

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