Consumers and households
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This area focuses on the protection of health, safety and economic interests of consumers. Aspects to be considered in order to assess the likely effects of policies on this impact area include: consumer representation and education; consumer health and safety; the economic interest of consumers.
EU consumer policy has been expressed in a series of 3-year action plans. The first was in 1990 and the last action plan expired at the end of 2001. On 7 May 2002, the European Commission adopted a new consumer policy strategy specifying its overall political approach for the five year period, 2002-2006. It has three key objectives, designed to help achieve integration of consumer concerns into all other EU policies, to maximise the benefits of the single market for consumers and to prepare for EU enlargement: A high common level of consumer protection; Effective enforcement of consumer protection rules; Proper involvement of consumer organisations in EU policies.
According to the Impact Assessment Guidelines of the European Commission, the following key questions are of particular importance when examining the impacts of policy initiatives on consumers and households:
- Evaluating impact on prices consumers pay
- Evaluating impact on consumers' benefit frominternationat market
- Evaluating impact on quality, availability and choise
- Evaluating impact on consumer information and protection
- Evaluating impact on financial situation of households
- Evaluating impact on economic protection
This text is for information only and is not designed to interpret or replace any reference documents. The text is partially adapted from: