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Online shopping: Parliament to boost security across borders


24 Mar 2011


Health & Consumers

Andreas Schwab MEP

Common EU standards will make life easier for customers and companies / Parliament to adopt Consumer Rights Directive / Quick agreement with Council possible

Online shopping across borders in the EU will soon be safer and easier for both consumers and companies. The European Parliament is set to endorse a compromise package on the future EU Directive drafted by Andreas Schwab tomorrow. "I have secured broad support for a set of rules which will provide real added value for European citizens. Consumers will have the same right of withdrawal of 14 days across the EU. This is a cornerstone of the Directive, which will boost consumer confidence and create new market opportunities for providers", said the European Parliament Rapporteur on the Consumer Rights Directive.

In addition, new rules on information requirements, especially as regards the price, but also on identity and contact details of the trader, will bring about more security and transparency for consumers. "We are also stepping up the fight against defrauding consumers by dubious and unclear internet 'offers'. By setting up a 'double click' solution, consumers will have to confirm their acceptance of any obligation to pay a price", Mr Schwab said in explaination of the major improvements achieved by his Report.

Online shopping across borders, in particular, is still not benefitting from the full potential of the European Single Market, as consumer rights in EU Member States vary considerably. "Since the creation of the Single Market in 1992, nothing much has changed as regards harmonisation of consumer rights", added Mr Schwab.

To make life easier for consumers and to build trust in cross-border shopping, the European Parliament has improved the original Commission proposal by concentrating on its core elements. "I do not wish to bring about half-cooked solutions for everything to do with Consumer Rights. I welcome the full support of the major political groups for my compromise package. Tomorrow's vote will be a good starting point for the negotiations with Council which could and should start soon. The final vote in Plenary could take place in mid May", expects Andreas Schwab.

For further information:
Andreas SCHWAB MEP, Tel: +32-2-2847938
Thomas Bickl, EPP Group Press & Communications Service, Tel: +32-478-215372