Today, the European Commission presented its proposals for its new Health and Consumer Programmes for the period 2014-2020. Commissioner Dalli observed that '[t]hese two programmes are about people; about fostering the conditions for people to live to their full potential and play a key role in society and in the economy. Keeping people healthy and active for longer is good for people and is good for jobs and growth. Confident, empowered consumers create thriving markets. I am confident the two programmes will make a significant contribution to achieving Europe 2020 goals – to create smart, sustainable and inclusive growth by the end of this decade'.
The proposed Consumer Programme aims at improving possibilities for consumers to actively take part in the internal market, in particular by:
- enhancing product safety through effective market surveillance;
- improving consumers' information, education and awareness of their rights;
- consolidating consumer rights and strengthening effective redress, especially through alternative dispute resolution;
- strengthening enforcement of rights cross-border.
In relation to these points, the Commission indicates that it intends to enhance consumer awareness of available rights under EU law, for instance through giving more publicity to the work of the ECC-net (network of European Consumer Centres).