New Consumer Agenda (cepPolicyBrief COM2020_696)
The European Union wants to strengthen consumer rights across borders by 2025. This includes a reform of the Package Travel Directive as part of a new EU consumer agenda. During the corona pandemic, travel providers often compensated customers for cancelled package tours only with vouchers. The Centrum für Europäische Politik has examined the new EU consumer agenda in a policy brief.
cep consumer expert Patrick Stockebrandt, who has assessed the new EU consumer agenda, advocates that "any reform of the Package Travel Directive must ensure that consumers continue to have the free choice of the form of reimbursement and, in particular, the right to be reimbursed in cash". "Furthermore, it must be ensured that the use of travel vouchers does not lead to disadvantages for consumers, in particular, to additional costs for issuing, transmitting or redeeming them," Stockebrandt emphasises.
The consumer agenda primarily addresses gaps in consumer law that have emerged as a result of COVID-19, as well as five key priority areas such as the green transition, the digital transformation, the effective enforcement and redress, and consumer protection in the global context. "There has been an increase in consumer scams, deceptive marketing techniques and fraud in online shopping during the pandemic," says Stockebrandt. "We therefore welcome the fact that the Commission wants to actively combat these abuses," explains the cep expert.