The objective of the European Union is to protect the health, safety and the economic well-being of its citizens. In this regard, it is the responsibility of the EU to promote the right to information, help in safeguarding the interests and encourage the member states to set up consumer associations. The Consumer policy is designed to improve the quality and the lifestyle of all European citizens. The European Union ensures that consumer interests are built into the EU legislation so that all the 450 million citizens can benefit from the consumer protection act at the same level. It should be noted that legislation is not the only means by which the 450 million citizens across the EU terrain can be protected. New and innovative methods have been introduced and are being implemented. Some of these methods include good practice guidelines and strong consumer organizations. Each European consumer must have sufficient information which is accurate prior to entering into any purchasing contract. Further, the consumer must be able to rely on clear legal rights when transactions are jeopardized. The first programme for consumer information and protection was adopted in 1975. Ever since the adoption of this programme, the EU consumer policy has been constantly under review and is evolving with new policies to protect the consumer rights.
[...] The legal framework in the Member States is unclear because of the disparities between some of the legislation applicable to information society services. This has created considerable legal uncertainty. Furthermore, the new legislation proposed in certain Member States reveals diverging approaches which pose a real risk of fragmentation of the internal market. Each Member State must ensure that the information society services provided by service providers established on its territory comply with the national provisions applicable in the Member State. [...]
[...] This annual budget is equivalent to the budget allocated in the previous period. Part Two: The Consumer Protection in Practice Selected Examples of EU Achievements The three major topics the European Union deals with as regards consumer policy are: - consumer safety; - protection of consumers' economic and legal interests; - consumer information. Chapter One: Consumer Safety Consumer Health General Principles: The free movement of safe and wholesome food is a key principle in the smooth functioning of the internal market. [...]
[...] The Member States must ensure that effective court actions can be brought against information society services' activities. The Member States and the Commission encourage the drawing-up of codes of conduct at Community level by trade and professional associations or organisations to ensure proper application of this Directive. Contracts General Principles: A Council Directive on unfair terms in consumer contracts was issued in April 1993 (Directive 93/13/EEC) to help eliminating unfair terms from contracts drawn up between a professional and a consumer. [...]
[...] When the assessment procedure used shows that the individual product or a representative example of production satisfies the requirements of the specific Directive that applies to it, the manufacturer or his agent established within the Community must affix the marking to each product and draw up a written declaration of conformity. This conformity marking has a single form: it consists of the mark and of the identification number of the notified body involved in the production control phase. It is affixed to the product itself, to its packaging or to the accompanying document. This mark enables the product in question to be placed on the Community market, to circulate freely and be used there. [...]
[...] The unit price need not be indicated if it is identical to the selling price. For products sold in bulk, only the unit price must be indicated. Any advertising which mentions the selling price must also indicate the unit price. The Practical Aspects of the Transition to the Euro: To ensure that the euro would be introduced in optimum circumstances, the Commission issued in 1998 a series of Recommendations, notably on dual display of prices and other monetary amounts. "Dual display" of a price or other monetary amount means the simultaneous display of an amount in the national currency unit and the euro. [...]
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