Members of the European Parliament’s Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee just voted for improved transparency for online shoppers and better enforcement of consumer rights.
“In order to build trust in the Digital Single Market, it is key to modernise consumer protection rules, in particular by enhancing transparency”, said Pascal Arimont MEP, EPP Group Spokesman on the topic. "In addition, we cannot accept having second-class consumers in the EU. We have therefore introduced stricter enforcement rules on product quality, ultimately outlawing unjustified quality differences", highlighted Arimont, lead on the dossier on behalf of the EPP Group.
As part of the 'New Deal for Consumers' package introduced in April 2018, the proposal for 'Better enforcement and modernisation of EU consumer protection rules' would amend four consumer protection Directives and target various consumer issues. This includes penalties for infringements; transparency in online marketplaces; protection for consumers as regards 'free' digital services, the right of withdrawal and dual quality of products.
“Since consumers increasingly rely on other customer reviews when they purchase products or services online, we have introduced new provisions allowing for greater authenticity of such reviews”, added Arimont.
“Moreover, we foresaw that online marketplaces and price comparison websites have to clearly indicate when advertisements and prominent rankings have been paid”, he said, stressing the benefits for consumers of the new transparency clause.
“Finally, together with all the other political groups, we strongly opposed the watering-down of the consumers’ best-known right: the right to return a product bought online remains untouched”, he concluded.
The EPP Group is the largest political group in the European Parliament with 217 Members from 28 Member States