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Consumer rights rules - EP votes to strengthen consumer protection EU-wide


24 Mar 2011


Health & Consumers

The European Parliament today voted its position on new EU rules on consumer rights (1). While the Greens would have preferred a more ambitious proposal in terms of setting out broader minimum EU consumer rights, the EP has voted to strengthen the legislation in key areas and this would mark a step forward for EU-wide consumer protection. After the vote, Greens/EFA MEP and shadow draftsperson Emilie Turunen said:

"Today's vote would clearly improve rights for consumers across the EU, particularly in the area of online sales. Based on today's vote, consumers would have the right to withdraw from a sales contract up to 14 days after the sale. A crucial improvement for online consumers is that the total price of any good must be clearly and prominently stated, while consumers will not bear the burden of the risk in the case of delivery problems. All these have been a key demand of the Greens.

"MEPs have also voted to include digital goods under the legislation, which is an important improvement given the growing market for these goods. This means consumers are protected when buying intangible goods, like software, online.

"Unfortunately, the Greens were not successful in getting MEPs' support for minimum EU consumer rights with regard to unfair contract terms. However, we hope that this might be improved in the forthcoming negotiations with the Council on the final legislation."


(1) The European Parliament voted its position on the Consumer Rights Directive, without adopting a legislative resolution, with a view to setting out the basis for negotiations with the Council on a first reading agreement.



Richard More O'Ferrall,

Press and media officer,
Greens/EFA group in the European Parliament
Mobile: +32-477-443842 - Ph. +32-22841669 (Brussels); +33-388174042 -


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