New agreement to increase consumer trust in E-Commerce
During the first meeting of the Competiveness Council under the Maltese Presidency, presided over by the Minister for the Economy, Investment and Small Business, Dr Chris Cardona, an agreement was reached on a general approach to strengthen cooperation between national authorities responsible for the enforcement of consumer protection laws.
The objective of the proposal is to modernise cooperation mechanisms to further reduce the consumer damage caused by cross-border infringements to EU consumer law. In particular, efficient consumer protection has to respond to the challenges of the digital economy and the development of cross-border retail trade in the EU.
An increased level of harmonisation setting effective and efficient enforcement cooperation among competent public enforcement authorities is therefore necessary to detect, investigate and order the cessation of intraUnion infringements and widespread infringements.
This revision of the existing Consumer Protection Cooperation framework will give more powers to national authorities which may, for example, check if websites geo-block consumers, order the immediate take-down of websites hosting scams or request information from domain registrars and banks to detect the identity of the responsible trader.
The President of the Competitiveness Council, Dr Cardona, noted how this necessary step answered the call of both con- sumers and companies that traded online, generating the necessary trust to shop and operate more securely, and in turn strengthen the internal market.
The meeting’s agenda also included the consideration of a proposal for the approval and market surveillance of motor vehicles of systems, components and technical units intended for vehicles and the analysis of the cost-benefit balance of a new model of auto certification.
The Council also discussed financial assistance which needs to be given to start-ups with particular importance to more support to set up a new start-up, second opportunities even in the case of bankruptcy, the opportunity for more innovative public purchases, and rights of intellectual property.
“International trade is at a critical juncture and the cooperation between member states is essential in ensuring the EU is wellequipped and will continue to be a solution for further growth and increased competitiveness. Our first Council was well-received and we are happy with today’s outcomes,” said Minister Cardona.