The Commission presents the new European Consumer Agenda for the coming years

The new European Commission's strategy intends to boost the confidence and growth by putting consumers at the heart of the Single Market. For achieving this objective, the European Consumer Agenda has four main objectives, and it also presents a number of key actions to be implemented between now and 2014.

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Start the Green Week 2012 dedicated to water

Under the banner “The Water Challenge – Every Drop Counts”, the Green Week 2012 kicked off. The European Commission informed that it expects some 3000 participants gather for three days to discuss water-related issues. In addition, it presented the new viral clip as part of the "Generation Awake!" campaign, which alerts consumers to the dangers of unsustainable patterns of consumption, such as the excessive water use.

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The European Commission approves 222 permitted health claims

The list adopted by the Commission, which is based on sound scientific advice, is a list of health claims on food labelling and in advertising, for example on the role of calcium and bone health or vitamin C and the immune system, have become vital marketing tools to attract consumers' attention.

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The mobile roaming prices will be reduced from 1 July 2012

The European Parliament adopted a regulation which will sharply fall the cost of using mobile phones, smartphones and tablets when travelling abroad within the EU. In addition, the regulation will enable clients to buy roaming services from suppliers other than their home service suppliers and open up the market to new entrants, so as to boost competition and thus reduce prices.

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Dangerous products are more promptly removed from the EU market

Although China remains the number one country for the number of notifications on products, there has been a decrease from 58% in 2010 to 54% in 2011. According to the 2011 report of the EU's rapid alert system for non-food dangerous products ("RAPEX") dangerous, these products are detected earlier and more effectively.

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The ECB endorses a public consultation on recommendations for the security of internet payments

A document endorsed for public consultation by the European Central Bank gathers recommendations for the security of internet payment. In particular, the text is aimed to contribute to fighting payment fraud and enhancing consumer trust in such services by harmonising minimum security recommendations.

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The mediation process on private copying and reprography levies has started

Mr António Vitorino, appointed by the Commissioner Barnier, has launched the process which aims to identify the best manner to achieve coherence, effectiveness and legitimacy in the implementation and application of the principles and legal framework underpinning private copying and reprography levies.

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EESC members backed a common framework for solving disputes resulting from buying abroad

The European Economic and Social Committee approved in plenary session several opinions regarding EU consumer rights. The opinions concerned alternative dispute resolution and online dispute resolution for consumer disputes. According to the EESC, thanks to these opinions, the EU will establish a common framework for solving disputes resulting from buying abroad.

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The tightening of the EU law to prevent accidents with hazardous chemicals, closer to be a reality

The Committee of Permanent Representatives of the Member States endorsed the compromise text previously agreed by the Council and the Parliament to tighten the requirements of the Seveso directive in order to prevent accidents with hazardous chemicals such as fireworks. This decision paves the way towards its formal adoption by the Council.

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Preliminary deal reached on new EU Roaming rules between the Council and the European Parliament

The Council and the European Parliament reached an agreement for the adoption of the draft regulation on roaming on public mobile communications networks within the EU. These rules will lead to a structural and durable solution to the high cost of using mobile phones and other smart devices whilst travelling in the EU. The European Parliament is expected to approve this agreement in May 2012 and the Council in June.

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MEPs want to enable consumers and SMEs to play a bigger part in developing EU goods and services standards

Internal Market Committee voted in favour of a draft regulation to modernise the European standarisation process. MEPs agree that using common standards reduces sales costs and helps to ensure that the EU single market works smoothly.

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