30 May 2017

Fitness check-consumer rules remain fit for purpose

Fitness check-consumer rules remain fit for purpose

DIGITALEUROPE welcomes the conclusion of the Fitness Check exercise. It confirms that existing consumer rules remain generally fit for purpose.

“Emphasis should indeed be put on enforcement, as pointed out in the results, which is where consumer protection lies,” said DIGITALEUROPE Director General Cecilia Bonefeld-Dahl. “EU citizens benefit from a strong framework of consumer rules. We always encourage the European Commission to take stock and make use first of these. New rules should only be drawn up where there is detailed evidence of how current practices hamper consumers or society as a whole.”

As a member of its Stakeholder Consultation Group, DIGITALEUROPE supported the Commission in its conduct of the Fitness check exercise. “Close cooperation with stakeholders is essential for keeping the consumer legislative framework fit-for-purpose,” added Ms Bonefeld-Dahl.

The opportunities that digital technologies offer to consumers today are innumerable: instant, mobile and seamless ways to communicate, comment, work, share, travel, shop, learn, express or entertain themselves. With multi-channel distribution opportunities, people already benefit from a broader choice for services and products in their domestic markets and across borders. With social media, online review tools and comparison websites, they can take more informed decisions and make better choices. This leads to better deals, tailored recommendations and an increasing consumer influence on service and product development.

“We are glad the Commission is aiming to keep up with the pace of the digital sector in this increasingly data-driven world,” continued Ms Bonefeld-Dahl. “Regulation must be principle-based to support innovation and positive market evolutions. Self- and co-regulation are best for adapting quickly to consumer expectations.”

EU consumer policy must aim to complete the single market, avoid cross-border regulatory fragmentation and confusion for consumers and businesses, who must remain free to determine their own strategy for providing high level services to consumers.

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