25 consumer advantages to EU’s Single Market

5/31/2018

In what way are you as a consumer affected by EU’s Single Market and the European Consumer Centres Network ECC, which includes the European Consumers Centre Network Sweden? We have compiled a list of 25 substantial advantages in order to mark the 25 year anniversary of EU’s Single Market.

EU’s 28 member countries and the EES countries Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein form EU’s internal market. There should be a flow of goods, services, people and capital between these 31 countries, without the obstacles of customs, fees, discrimination or national requirements. New legal documents are also continually being added and jointly implemented in the member countries.

25 advantages to EU’s Single Market

  1. One collective currency. In the EU there are 19 countries that you can travel to and get away with using only Euro as the only currency, including the popular vacation spots Spain, Portugal and Greece.

  2. The new general data protection regulation. The regulation, which is abbreviated GDPR, has harmonised laws on integrity protection throughout Europe, making it equal for everyone.

  3. The ECC network. There is an office in every EU member state, as well as in Iceland and Norway. They offer consumers free help and advice regarding cross-border trade.

  4. Free roaming within EU/EES. New roaming regulations were implemented one year ago, which entail that you will not need to pay additional fees when using your mobile within the EU, in Norway, Lichtenstein or in Iceland. Instead you pay your usual Swedish rate.

  5. Compensation if you have problems with your flight. The EU has created a set of rights (Air Passenger Rights/APR) that exist to protect you when you fly and make it easier for you to receive compensation if you run into problems. Use our flight calculator to find out exactly what you are entitled to

  6. Free travel app. Keeps tabs on your rights when you travel within the EU and find available help in all 24 official languages within the ECC network. Read more about the app and download it here

  7. Protection when you enter contracts for timeshare accommodations. The so-called timeshare directive protects you when you enter contracts for timeshare accommodations, i.e. a contract that is valid for more than one year and which, against payment, gives a consumer right of use for one or more overnight accommodations for more than one time period, also called a timeshare.

  8. Right of cancellation in distance selling. You are always legally entitled to a 14-day right of withdrawal when you make online purchases within the EU and EES.

  9. Fairer trade methods. The EU’s anti-dumping regulation is designed to protect EU’s own producers and business owners from unfair trade methods. This is among other things achieved by stopping imported products where the price has been reduced artificially through state intervention.

  10. Safe goods and products. Extensive safety directive and standard of CE labeling ensures that  product safety in Europe is very high.

  11. Live and work wherever you want. Are you thinking of moving to another country within the EU? The agreement on free mobility makes that possible.

  12. Safer use of cards. The second payment services directive went into effect this year, which for consumers means that there is a limit on fees that can be charged for card payments as well as improved consumer protection against fraud.

  13. Right to withdrawal always applies. If you purchase a defective product within the EU you have at least a two-year right of withdrawal.

  14. Safe on the bus journey. Your rights as a long-distance bus traveler are regulated by an EU regulation.

  15. Wider range of products for you to shop. The openness within the European single market gives you access to a wider selection, lower prices and products that are not available on your home market.

  16. Easier to get justice. Simplified legal procedures for cross-border consumer issues, such as European Small Claim Procedure and European Payment Order Procedure, have been implemented in order for consumers to get help more easily.

  17. No customs fees. Worried about customs fees when you shop online? Not within the EU.

  18. New package-trip law. A new EU directive will come into effect on August 1st. This directive clarifies the protection for 120 million consumers who have booked different forms of combined trips.

  19. Alternatives to dispute settlement. The ADR directive and ODR platform are two resources for the ECC network and Consumer Europe that have been implemented in order to reach alternative solutions to disputes between consumers and business owners.

  20. Easier bank transfers. In order to simplify bank transfers within the EU there is the Single Euro Payments Area, SEPA.

  21. Cross-border streaming. According to an agreement you should have the same access to the streaming content service that you subscribe to in all EU countries. These regulations include all types of streaming services – for film, T.V and music – and it goes into effect by the turn of the year.

  22. Support for travelers with reduced mobility. A future initiative within the EU is the so called EU Disability Card, which is meant to make it easier for persons with disabilities to travel between EU countries.

  23. Receive medical care anywhere. With the European health insurance card you have access to necessary medical care during a temporary stay in any of the 28 EU countries, as well as Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland, according to the same terms and at the same cost as other people with insurance in that country.

  24. Select any bank you want. Free mobility of capital means that you have the right to open up a bank account in any EU country.

  25. The end of geo-blocking. In the end of 2018 it will no longer be permitted to discriminate against consumers and companies within the EU when it comes to access to prices, sales or payment terms based on what country you order from.