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Placing the consumer at the centre of policies for green and digital transition

Met dank overgenomen van Portugees voorzitterschap Europese Unie 1e helft 2021, gepubliceerd op maandag 15 maart 2021.

The New Consumer Agenda should “capacitate and empower consumers, so that they can become active agents of the green and digital transition”, the Portuguese Minister of State for the Economy and the Digital Transition said at the opening of the European Consumer Summit.

The agenda suggests priorities and lines of action for the next five years and has also received contributions from civil society in the context of the current COVID-19 pandemic situation. It includes new legislation in the area of the provision of information on sustainability and matters such as general product safety.

This is the first time that the European Consumer Summit has been jointly organised by the European Commission and the Member State that holds the Presidency of the Council of the EU. For the European Commissioner for Justice, Didier Reynders, this reveals the “spirit of cooperation” amongst the 27.

As a central point in the New Consumer Agenda, the policies around green transition are aimed at ensuring that European consumers have sustainable products and better information at their disposal, allowing them to make informed choices when shopping.

In the field of digital transformation - and at a time when 72% of consumers shop online, a figure that contrasts with less than 10% in 2002 - the priorities focus on combating failure to respect consumer rights, particularly by means of the concealed use of artificial intelligence, which must adhere to EU regulations.

The European Consumer Summit was scheduled to coincide with the World Consumer Rights Day, which is today, 15 March.

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