“EU Consumer Protection – Bane or Boon? Borderline of Regulations”
At the Representation of the Free State of Bavaria to the EU
Participants EES Economy Talks, April 2014
View on the participants of the panel discussion
- Michael HINTERDOBLER, Director, Representation of the Free State of Bavaria to the European Union
- Rolf von HOHENHAU, Chairman European Economic Senate
- MEP Dr Gabriele STAUNER, Member of Committee on Employment and Social Affairs, Deputy Member of Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection of European Parliament
- RA Dirk RADERMACHER, Managing Director of the Association of Producers of Culinary Products in Germany, Secretary General Culinaria Europe
- Dipl.-Ing. (FH) Gunther GAMST, Managing Director Daikin Germany
- Dr Nils BEHRNDT, Head of Cabinet of Commissioner Neven Mimica, European Commission
The topic: “EU Consumer Protection – Bane or Boon? Borderline of Regulations” is for both businesses and the citizens of particular importance. On the one hand, consumers expect maximum protection and product safety; on the other hand, the same consumers want low prices for their goods and services.
Consumer protection is a very diverse and complex field with its technical, material and economic components and ranging from the Product Safety and Market Surveillance Package to the protection against unfair commercial practices. The regulatory impact of consumer protection policies is significant, but rapid changes in many areas of daily life urge for increased market intervention.
The consumer needs protection because he or she is inferior to the providers of goods and services due to a lack of technical knowledge, information and experience. However, where are the limits of regulation and intervention? At what point is the consumer informed enough to decide oneself for the best and safest product?
Member States and the business community often meet new regulations from Brussels with great scepticism. There is concern that entrepreneurial freedom is being more and more restricted by over-regulation. With the European Consumer Agenda, a strategic vision that seeks to put consumers at the heart of the single market is put forward by the Commission: regulations should promote information and enhance transparency. Active citizens – not passive consumers – are the guiding principle in functioning markets. A consumer friendly internal market is supposed to stimulate economic growth – but at whose expenses?
With our EES Economy Talk we want - on the one hand - to give a deeper insight into the consumer protection discussion and on the other hand looking into the future. As representatives for the European economy, we want to make an active contribution to represent the views of the companies and to develop EU consumer protection further that it solves more problems and creates fewer new problems.
Economy Senator Nomination of Dr Horst Heitz
Chief Executive Officer Michael Jaeger, Dr Horst Heitz, Secretary General Wolfgang Franken (from left to right)
Economy Senator Nomination of Guenther Ploessl
Secretary General Wolfgang Franken Chief Executive Officer Michael Jaeger, Guenther Ploessl, Commissioner Neven Mimica and EES-President Dr Ingo Friedrich (left to right)