National and European level consumer organisations have opposing views on the EU’s future health and consumer protection programme.
To gather collect civil society views and opinions before adopting its formal opinion, the European Economic and Social Committee’s (EESC) Section for the Single Market, Production and Consumption organised a public hearing on the Commission’s proposal for the future Health and Consumer Protection Programme.
The hearing of 16 September 2005 was structured into three separate debates addressing upon the stakeholders’ current appraisal of the EU Public Health and Consumer Protection policies, the question of synergies between the two policies and the strengths and weaknesses of the new programme.
Some consumer organisations voiced concern about the new joint health and consumer protection programme proposal as they find it might have negative effects on consumer protection.
A Commission representative responded briefly to these concerns by saying that the two policies have a lot in common as they both have an indirect impact on citizens’ lives. The Commission sees only benefits in putting them together – increased visibility for both policies, their integration to other policies and increased overall resources for both (the funds for consumer policy doubled).