The European Parliament has just voted on better enforcement and modernisation of EU consumer protection rules. While there are some improvements on current consumer protection legislation, today's changes are a wasted opportunity to tackle the dual quality of products.
In September, the European Parliament called for the first time, to put an end to the practice of companies producing different quality products for different parts of Europe without the consumer being clearly informed of such a difference.
Julia Reda Greens/EFA shadow rapporteur on the file comments:
"The practice of large companies selling products of differing quality in different countries under the same brand undermines the notion of the Single Market and is an affront to consumers. In effect, multinational companies are treating certain EU citizens as second class based on the country they come from. It's unfair for consumer rights and detrimental to people's health to letµcompanies get away with selling same-branded products of different qualities in different countries.
"Unfortunately, the new rules contain loopholes that will force authorities to investigate complaints on a case-by-case basis. This will put the burden on consumers to prove they have been misled. Most people can't afford to travel to another country just to test if a certain product tastes different. We need EU rules to adequately protect people from this dodgy practice and to uphold the notion of the Single Market. We will continue to fight for consumer protection and an end to the different quality of products in the EU."