Consumer Programme 2014-2020

4/3/2014

Every one of Europe's 500 million citizens is a consumer. Consumers drive Europe's economy and the Single Market. Their expenditure amounts to 56% of EU GDP and is a huge potential as a source of growth and innovation. 

The more consumers are able to make informed decisions, the greater the impact they can have on strengthening the Single Market and stimulating growth.

New needs have appeared as a consequence of the economic crisis and new ways of shopping, such as e-commerce and digital services. Consumer information also needs to keep pace with developments in the markets.

The main challenges to be addressed by the 2014-2020 programme are:

  • Safety - There is a need to reinforce coordination of national enforcement authorities, and to address the risks linked to the globalisation of the production chain. There is a growing demand for safe services, also in the context of the population ageing;
  • Consumer information and education - There is a need for comparable, reliable and user-friendly information for consumers, particularly cross-border; to address the issue of poor knowledge of key consumer rights by consumers and retailers alike; for robust data on how the market is serving consumers; for increased capacity of consumer organisations especially in some Member States; to improve the educational and information tools we use;
  • Consumer rights and effective redress - There is a need to further strengthen consumer rights, in particular in cross-border situations, and to address problems faced by consumers when trying to secure redress, notably cross-border so that consumers are confident that their rights are well protected in any other Member State as well as at home;
  • Strengthening enforcement cross-border - There is a need to increase awareness about the network of European Consumer Centres among consumers and to further strengthen its effectiveness. The efficiency of the network of national enforcement authorities also needs to be strengthened.

The Programme will fund actions across all 28 EU Member States and countries of the European Free Trade Association participating in the European Economic Area.

Read the press release from The European Commission via the link to the right on this page.