The consumer scoreboard is a vital tool that policymakers and other stakeholders can use to gauge market performance and activity vis-à-vis EU consumers.
The most recent scoreboard highlighted a number of the shortcomings which are currently prevalent in the internal market. In a parliamentary question addressed to the European Commission and tabled by Labour MEP Louis Grech highlighted that:
EU Commissioner John Dalli, in response to the issue, said that as a follow-up to the Single Market Act, the Commission proposals on Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) and Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) aim at facilitating redress and thus boosting confidence in the Single Market.
Likewise, the Commission proposal for Common European Sales Law strives to facilitate cross-border shopping by creating an optional, single set of rules for cross-border contracts throughout the EU. Work is underway on the implementation of the actions announced in the recent e-commerce Communication , inter alia to ensure more efficient and affordable delivery of products across Europe, easier payments online and the development of more transparent, cross-border price and quality comparison websites. Further initiatives to address internal market fragmentation will be proposed in the Single Market Act 2, he said.
The recently adopted Consumer Agenda lists concrete steps that will be taken before 2014 to improve information and raise awareness of consumer rights and interests among both consumers and traders. These include an EU-wide awareness-raising campaign to be launched in 2013, support to European consumer organisations and strengthening the role of European Consumer Centres’ Network to better inform consumers about their rights when shopping cross-border and assist them when they become entangled in cross-border disputes. In addition, as part of the Digital Agenda for Europe , the Commission is working on a Code of EU Online Rights summarising existing digital user rights in the EU in a clear and accessible way