Consumer Protection

Contracting Party: Progress Consulting S.r.l. (subcontracting within the Framework Contract for studies in the fields of agriculture, health and maritime policy with the European Committee of the Regions)

Period: 2018



On 11 April 2018, the European Commission (EC) put forward a number of proposals for modernising and effectively enforcing consumer protection rules as well as for guaranteeing an equal treatment of consumers in the European Single Market. The package of proposed measures, as described in the Communication on ‘A New Deal for Consumers’ (COM(2018) 183), comprises non-legislative actions and two proposals for Directives ((COM (2018) 184) and (COM (2018) 185)).
This study, led by Progress Consulting S.r.l., looks into the EC proposals and investigates how consumer protection is dealt with at the local and regional level throughout the EU. The comparative analysis highlights that local and regional authorities (LRAs) have competences or at least a sufficiently defined role in the area of consumer protection in 15 EU countries. Examples of practices in this policy domain by LRAs are collected through desk research and an online call for submission of positive experiences. These examples partially fill the knowledge gap on what European LRAs actually do in terms of implementation of consumer protection policy and/or enforcement of consumer protection law, and on which instruments and tools they use. In those EU countries where the local and regional level is ‘the level’ where consumer protection support is delivered to citizens the changes proposed by the EC in the New Deal for Consumers will have implications for LRAs but will also give them the opportunity to strengthen their contribution in this policy domain, in particular in the areas of citizens’ trust in public institutions and of consumers’ awareness of key rights.