Commission’s 2015 EU Consumer Scoreboard shows untapped e-commerce potential

The 2015 edition of the Consumer Scoreboard shows that cross-border e-commerce is still an under-developed market in Europe: 61% of consumers feel more confident buying online from their own country (61%) than from another EU country (38%).

The 2015 edition of the Consumer Scoreboard shows that cross-border e-commerce is still an under-developed market in Europe: 61% of consumers feel more confident buying online from their own country than from another EU country (38%). The scoreboard which focuses on The Digital Single Market also found that the lack of trust, territorial restrictions and price discrimination are still barriers to cross-border e-commerce.

EU Council backs new EU rules giving more protection to over 120 million holidaymakers

The Ministers in the Competitiveness Council reached a political agreement on new rules that will bring protection for package holidays up to speed with the digital age. Věra Jourová, Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality said: "If you plan your holidays you should not have to worry about insufficient legal protection. This is why new EU rules will soon cover over 120 million holidaymakers who book combined travel online: adapting the EU rules on package travel to the digital age. Travellers will clearly know what they are buying and what their rights are, especially if something goes wrong during their holidays. These new rules also support the travel industry that will benefit from less administrative burden and much-needed legal clarity."

The rules will extend protection of the 1990 EU Package Travel Directive to cover not only traditional package holidays, but also give clear protection to 120 million consumers who book other forms of combined travel, e.g. a self-chosen combination on a website of a flight plus hotel or car rental. There will always be protection where travel services are advertised as a package or where they are offered at a total or inclusive price.

European Consumers Centres – 10 years at the service of European consumers

This year marks the 10-year anniversary since the European Commission, together with national governments, established a network of European Consumer Centres (ECC) in all 28 Member States of the European Union, Norway and Iceland. The ECC-Net promotes the understanding of EU consumers' rights and assists in resolving complaints about purchases made in another country of the network, when travelling or shopping online.

Over the last 10 years, the ECCs received more than 650,000 requests for information about EU consumer rights and assisted about 300,000 consumers. More than two thirds of the complaints received by the ECC-Net are about cross border e-commerce, reflecting the interest of consumers in a well-functioning Digital Single Market. The ECCs are also there to make sure things go right from the start. In fact, many of the complaints were solved in an amicable manner between consumers and traders.

With the help of the ECCs people feel informed about their consumer rights and reassured when buying online across the EU – they know in advance how they are protected if something were to go wrong.

Better application of EU guarantees in online shopping of electronics

The European Commission today announces the results of enforcement actions undertaken to make EU legal and commercial guarantees work better for consumers. The Commission coordinated a screening done by national consumer authorities of how websites selling mobile phones, computers, cameras or TVs are applying the EU legislation on guarantees. 235 out of the 437 websites checked did not sufficiently inform consumers on their free of charge right to get defective goods repaired or replaced within at least 2 years of purchase. As a result of national enforcement actions, 82% of the websites checked are now informing consumers sufficiently and authorities continue to work on the remaining 18% to ensure that guarantee rights are fully respected across the EU.

Commissioner Jourová participates in the European Consumer Summit

The European Consumer Summit, taking place 1-2 June in the Commission's Charlemagne Building, is an annual forum which will gather over 500 key European and international policy-makers and stakeholders, including representatives from the European Parliament, governments and national authorities, consumer organisations, academia and business. To mark the occasion, the European Commission announces the results of a coordinated effort with national consumer enforcers, who were tasked with screening how websites selling electronic devices apply EU legislation on product guarantees. The summit is also an occasion to celebrate the 10 year anniversary of the European Consumer Centres Network, which serve as a way to inform EU consumers about their rights and help them deal with issues relating to cross border purchases. Speaking at the event, Commissioner Jourová stressed the importance of the Digital Single Market: "This initiative should bring the best possible deal for consumers in a more and more digital society. They should be able to make choices whilst benefiting from protection. They should be empowered to engage confidently in the Digital Single Market."