The EESC fears that, as it is structured, the New Consumer Agenda may be seen as a list of separate initiatives that will be difficult to implement on the ground.
The EESC calls for physical and digital completion of the internal market to be on an equal footing and for a high level of consumer protection to be achieved.
In particular, the EESC calls for greater durability of goods, access to sustainable products, a clean, circular, more climate-friendly economy and efficient use of products, as well as combating planned obsolescence and ensuring the right to repair goods and products.
The EESC believes that consumer protection rules need to be adapted to the digital world. The new challenges posed by emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT) and robotics call for a strengthening of current protection.
Moreover, the EESC demands that European support also be reflected in the involvement of all civil society organisations (especially consumer organisations), because of their role in the development of the Agenda.
The EESC is of the view that the role of consumer education and training should be increased and strengthened under the Agenda, as they help to consolidate a high level of protection.
Finally, the EESC is aware of the difficulties SMEs face in contributing to the success of the Agenda. It highlights the need to provide businesses, especially SMEs, with financial resources to meet the demands of the Agenda.
For more information please contact the INT Section Secretariat