Safe products and European consumer protection
Consumer protection and rules differ from each other accross Europe. At the same time goods are being traded in the Internet and companies operate in the internal market without any national borders.
In the proposal for the Consumer Rights Directive the Commission has proposed a full harmonisation of consumer rights in the EU. In principle there is nothing wrong with harmonisation, but the most important question is, does this mean better or worse protection for an individual consumer? With the help of the internal markets we can facilitate the business of SMEs and increase cross-border trade, but this cannot happen on consumers' expense.
The committee for Internal Market and Consumer Protection, or IMCO, deals also with product safety, I consider this to be of outmost importance. We must be able to trust the quality, safety and durability of the goods we acquire.
During the last mandate IMCO approved the EU Consumer protection Programme, the much debated Directive on Services in the Internal Market, dealt with online gambling, the Telecoms package and roaming charges. The situations change and new topics enter the agenda constantly. In all the issues I think that the most important thing to ensure is the benefit and safety of a regular consumer.