EU Citizenship and Rights |

European Consumer Protection and Rights

European Consumer Protection and Rights

The European Union of 28 countries has just over half a billion potential consumers. The Member States have progressively developed measures aimed at safeguarding the specific interests of these consumers who play a vital economic and political role in society.

EU has endeavoured to harmonise these national measures in order to guarantee European citizens the same high level of protection throughout the single market. To this purpose, the EU has coordinated:

  • Pan EU Product labelling & packaging
  • Pan EU Consumer safety
  • Pan EU Rights to information and education
  • Pan EU rights to organise to defend consumers’ interests

EU Citizenship provides you with these consumer rights:

  • Rely on fair treatment: consumers are protected from unfair terms in contracts that would create excessively heavy obligations for them vis-à-vis the trader;
  • Receive full information before you buy: misleading and aggressive marketing practices by traders are not allowed. Sufficient information must be given to allow informed choices;
  • Profit from strong protection when shopping online: for instance consumers get 14 days to send back products which do not meet their expectations;
  • Get a solution if something goes wrong: if goods are faulty, consumers can ask for repair, replacement or, if this is not possible, a price reduction or refund;
  • Benefit from greatly improved product safety: thanks to the EU’s rapid alert system for products other than food which allows unsafe goods to be identified and removed from the market quickly to protect consumers.
  • Rely on being protected by a full set of passenger rights whether you travel by air, rail, ship, bus or coach. Passengers enjoy the right to information, assistance and, in certain circumstances, compensation in case of cancellation or long delay; enjoy extra protection if you buy package holidays. Your rights include information in brochures, rights to cancel without penalty, liability for the seller for services (for example if you end up in a substandard hotel) and protection if a tour operator or airline goes bankrupt;
  • Benefit from a guaranteed reasonable quality of fixed telecoms service at affordable prices, regardless of where you live in the EU;
  • Rely on legal certainty, predictability and flexibility when your family situation and divorce involves more than one EU country.
  • Travel without discrimination if you have a disability or reduced mobility.
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