Position paper on the proposal for a Directive on Better Enforcement and Modernisation of EU Consumer Protection Rules
ETNO and the GSMA welcome the objectives of the proposals on “A New Deal for Consumers”, which aim at updating consumer protection standards and improving enforcement. To effectively reach these, objectives several crucial adjustments are required, addressing only clearly identified problems in a targeted way and based on the principle of proportionality. More efforts should be focused on enforcing existing rules, rather than creating new ones which might be rendered ineffective. While the level of legal harmonisation should increase, Member States need to keep some flexibility to specify EU level provisions.
- Misuse of unsolicited visits needs to be tackled in a more targeted way and consistently across Member States. The proposal to broadly allow Member States to apply any measure, including even bans and other drastic restrictions upon doorstep-selling, are not proportionate and will lead to legal fragmentation.
- Criteria to define penalties should not all be weighted in the same way and require some clarifications. Applying maximum penalties of at least 4% of turnover should be avoided, taking into account that other proposed provisions introduced in this Article are sufficient to calculate a proportionate fine according to the harm caused. .
- The development of new business models online urgently requires that consumer protection rules apply to all commercially provided services, irrespective of the kind of remuneration they are provided against. Consistency with existing and future legislation should also be ensured.
- Proposed transparency obligations for online intermediaries are a reasonable and proportionate step. They require better alignment with the draft Regulation on Online Platforms.
- We welcome the required correction in the scope of withdrawal rights concerning refunding which is important for traders, without detrimental effects on consumers.
- To allow all actors to ensure proper compliance with the new rules, the transposition period should be extended to at least 18 months.