While the elections for the European Parliament have started, it may be interesting to take some time to consider what is the Parliament's significance for consumers. In a recent Manifesto, European consumer organisation BEUC highlights the EP's impact on consumers' lives in the past years and sets out a list for future action.
The main areas indicated in the Manifesto are:
- financial services
- consumer rights
- digital rights.
Furthermore, BEUC points its attention to the controversial Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), emphasising the importance of transparency in the negotiation process and in dispute resolution.
Monique Goyens, BEUC's Director General adds:
“Consumer policy directly and tangibly impacts on citizens’ daily lives. Over the last 30 years, the EU has written a true success story in this field. It has provided many fundamental protections, better market access, product safety standards, shopping and information rights. Yet most people are unaware that these often originate in ‘Brussels’.
“The new MEPs taking up office will be faced with major challenges such as securing stronger safeguards for financial services, improving the telecoms market, ensuring a neutral internet and restoring consumers’ trust in the food industry after recent scandals.
“The Parliament is still the most trusted EU institution. The incoming MEPs should understand that consumer policy is a way of reaching out to European citizens. They must work to sustain and increase this trust by putting consumer interests central.”