Consumers

FIELDS:
  • Education, Training, Culture and Youth
  • Environment, Consumers and Health
  • Justice, Fundamental Rights and Home Affairs
BUDGET: € 188,83 million for 2013 (167,3 € 2011 price)
GENERAL OBJECTIVE:

The aim of the Consumer Programme is to support the policy objective of placing the empowered consumer at the centre of the Single Market. The Programme does so by contributing to protecting the health, safety and economic interests of consumers, as well as to promoting their right to information, education and to organise themselves in order to safeguard their interests. The Programme complements, supports and monitors the policies of Member States.

SPECIFIC OBJECTIVES:
  1. Safety: to consolidate and enhance product Safety through effective market surveillance throughout the EU.
  2. Information and education: to improve consumers education, information and awareness of their rights, to develop the evidence base for consumer policy and to provide support to consumer organizations.
  3. Rights and redress: to consolidate consumer rights in particular through regulatory action and improving access to redress including alternative dispute resolution.
  4. Enforcement: to support enforcement of consumer rights by strengthening cooperation between national enforcement bodies and by supporting consumers with advice.
ELEGIBLE PARTNERS:

Non-profit organizations; non-governmental, non-profit and independent European consumer organizations; consumer protection officials; public bodies.

ELEGIBLE COUNTRIES:

Member States; EEA countries; Candidate Countries; Western Balkan countries; Third countries covered by the European Neighbourhood Policy.

SUPPORTED ACTIONS:

Under objective:

  • Safety: scientific advice and risk analysis relevant to consumer health and safety; coordination of market surveillance and enforcement actions on product safety; maintenance and further development of databases on cosmetics.
  • Information and education: building the evidence base for policy-making in areas affecting consumers; support to consumer organizations; enhancing the transparency of consumer markets and consumer information; enhancing consumer education.
  • Rights and redress: preparation by the Commission of consumer protection legislation and other regulatory initiatives, monitoring the transposition by Member States and the subsequent evaluation of its impact and the promotion of co-regulatory and self-regulatory initiatives; facilitating access to and monitoring of the functioning and the effectiveness of dispute resolution mechanisms for consumers, in particular of alternative dispute resolution schemes, including on-line, also through the development and maintenance of relevant IT tools.
  • Enforcement: coordination of surveillance and enforcement actions on cooperation between national authorities responsible for the enforcement of consumer protections laws; financial contributions for joint actions with public or non-profit bodies constituting Union networks which provide information and assistance to consumers to help them exercise their rights and obtain access to appropriate dispute resolution, including out of court online resolution schemes (the European Consumer Centers Network).
CO-FINANCING:

The EU contribution can be up to 50% or 70%, depending on the action.

RESPONSIBLE BODY: DG: Executive Agency for Health and Consumers
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