Better cross-border protection for consumers

The new EU regulation to improve cooperation between national consumer protection authorities - the so-called CPC regulation - is now in force.

The CPC Regulation extends the minimum powers for national consumer protection authorities to combat cross-border infringements of EU consumer protection law. It also significantly tightens the cooperation obligations between the authorities. They will be used where infringements do harm to the "collective interests" of consumers in several Member States. The main objective of the new regulation is to improve consumer protection in cross-border trade.

From the point of view of cep, the CPC Regulation will improve the cooperation between public authorities. It also strengthens their powers to deal with cross-border infringements, enhances consumer protection and thus the internal market as a whole. cep's main criticism of the original proposal was dispelled or mitigated in the legislative process: It was clarified that simultaneous enforcement of consumer law under private law in Germany will remain possible in all cases. The minimum powers, which were originally too far-reaching, such as the blocking of websites and accounts, have been weakened.

It was also made clear that powers must be exercised in accordance with the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights. Finally, national consumer protection authorities may be able, at least in some cases, to withdraw from the coordination obligations. This might be useful, for example, when national measures to address infringements have already been carried out, or if the extent of infringements in a Member State is negligible. Overall, cep welcomes the new regulations.

The cepPolicyBrief and the cepMonitor provide further information on the regulation and on the changes made during the legislative process.