We, the European Democrats, are campaigning for a Europe that stands with consumers, one that is strong and effective in its supranational role. This strength emanates from its ability to negotiate and regulate the relationship between businesses and consumers. We require a dynamic Europe capable of embracing changes, adapting to them, mitigating risks, and seizing the opportunities that arise.
We need a Europe that establishes innovative and future-proof legislation, one that is recognised as a frontrunner and global standard-setter in various policy areas such as data protection, digital technology, AI, and consumer protection.
Consumer protection has always been a key focus of European regulation. The European Democratic Party recognises that European consumers require access to effective and proportionate information to make informed choices across various sectors. Whether it's telematics services, trade products, food safety, financial services, contractual terms, price transparency for package vacations, air travel, timeshares, or even pets, European regulations aim to ensure that consumers are well-informed and protected.
01) RETURN OR REPAIR WHAT DOESN’T WORK
We worked on ensuring that consumers benefit from a two-year legal guarantee of conformity that covers defective products. If a product is found to be defective, consumers have the right to have it repaired, replaced, or refunded. If a product does not meet the promised specifications, consumers can return it and seek appropriate compensation.
2) RETAIN CONTROL OF YOUR PURCHASE: FLEXIBLE RETURNS AND CANCELLATIONS
Whether you buy a product or service online or through other channels, you have the right to withdraw from the purchase. This means you can return the product or cancel the service within 14 days of the purchase date. If a product is withdrawn from the market, the online platform will directly notify all consumers. We successfully fought for this achievement.
3) ENSURING PRODUCT SAFETY
EU countries are upholding the highest product safety standards in the world, and we are proud for having contributed to laws in place to guarantee the safety of products available for sale. These regulations also encompass non-food items. If a company becomes aware that it has released a hazardous product (whether it be a food item, toy, or electronic device), it is legally obligated to notify the authorities. Furthermore, if there is a significant risk associated with the product, the company must immediately remove it from the market.
4) ONE CHARGER FOR ALL DEVICES IN THE EU
Empowering consumers to make more sustainable choices and to reduce e-waste is of great importance to us. That is why we supported legislation that states that all cell phones, tablets, and cameras in the EU, and eventually laptops as well, must be equipped with a USB-C charging port.
5) CELL PHONES: CONNECTING EUROPE WITHOUT EXTRA CHARGES
We are proud to have contributed to free roaming across the EU, allowing you to use your cell phone just as you would in your home country, whether it’s for calls, data, or SMS. This means that when you travel to another EU country, there are no additional fees for using your cell phone.
6) TRAVEL INCONVENIENCES? EUROPE PROTECTS YOU
We successfully advanced EU regulations that assist passengers across all modes of transportation in case of long delays or cancellations. Mandatory compensation mechanisms are in place to ensure passenger rights, including access to information, national monitoring bodies, com- plaint-handling systems, non-discrimination policies, and protection for passengers with reduced mobility.
7) PROMOTING TRANSPARENCY IN FOOD PRODUCTS
Through a united effort, we ensured that every label must provide comprehensive information about the ingredients, including colourings, preservatives, sweeteners, and other chemical additives, as well as allergy risks. The regulations encompass guidelines for the use of the “organic” label, mandatory disclosure of genetically modified products, and the protection of high-quality products originating from specific European regions.
8) MORE ONLINE PROTECTION
In our recent endeavours, we have accomplished implementing targeted obligations on major online platforms to combat illegal content, including misinformation, hate speech, and terrorist content. We have also introduced transparency requirements for online platforms regarding their content moderation policies. Moreover, an ongoing legislative proposal aims to provide citizens with increased transparency concerning online political advertising, further bolstering accountability in the digital realm.
9) COMBATING UNFAIR PRACTICES AND PROTECTING CREDITWORTHINESS
We have contributed to EU legislation that enforces a ban on unfair contract terms, providing consumer protection regardless of the member state where the contract is signed. In addition, specific regulations prohibit misleading advertising, excessive commercial pressure, and unfair contract terms, ensuring that consumers are shielded from fraud and abuse by financial institutions. Moreover, dedicated provisions address loan advertising, pre-contractual information, transparent calculation of interest rates, and the general terms and conditions of credit agreements, reinforcing creditworthiness and empowering consumers across the EU.
10) PIONEERING IN ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE REGULATION
Europe is leading the way by being the first in the world to adopt regulations that govern the significant innovation of artificial intelligence. These regulations will guarantee that AI systems used within the EU adhere to principles of security, transparency, traceability, non-discrimination, and environmental responsibility. The legislation we are advancing will prohibit AI systems deemed to carry “unacceptable” risks, such as remote and real-time biometric identification systems. It will also require registration and evaluation of “high-risk” systems before market placement while establishing minimum transparency requirements for “limited-risk” systems, empowering users to make informed decisions.