2024 Consumer Summit: the Commission starts gathering ideas for the 2025-2030 Consumer Agenda

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On 18 April, the European Commission, in partnership with the Belgian Council Presidency organised the 2024 Consumer Summit. The event featured a series of opening speeches as well as six interactive workshops.

Vice President of the European Commission and acting Commissioner for Consumer Protection, Vera Jourová, addressed the audience. She acknowledged that during the current mandate progress was made under the New Consumer Agenda, including greenwashing, early obsolescence was banned, and among others the rules on product safety were redesigned.

After the initial remarks, the event continued with a high-level panel discussion on consumer issues. The speakers touched on subjects such as AI, enforcement, changing consumer habits, e-commerce, influencers, the level playing field and sustainability. Concerning e-commerce in particular, the speakers underlined (1) the importance of ensuring a level playing field, (2) that the customs reform is strongly related to the evolution of e-commerce, and (3) that international cooperation is essential when talking about enforcement.

Following the panel discussion, participants engaged in smaller group sessions tackling topics such as social media as a sales channel, preventing online fraud, and dark patterns. Ecommerce Europe organised a workshop in collaboration with Independent Retail Europe and EuroCommerce where we focused on digital fairness in retail. The discussion with the participants can be boiled down to the following main ideas: (1) Collection, processing and usage of data makes a huge difference in the way consumers perceive a practice (whether it being good or bad), (2) Increased transparency (prompt and clear information) can increase consumer trust, and (3) Increasing awareness across the whole chain (for authorities, consumers and companies) will enable the existence of a more effective enforcement mechanism.

The ideas extracted from the workshops will feed into the 2025-2030 Consumer Agenda. The Commission is expected to issue a detailed report on the outcome of the discussions in the coming months.

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