New market surveillance rules aim to protect EU consumers and businesses

Christel Schaldemose says member states must take more responsibility for market surveillance.

By Christel Schaldemose

Christel Schaldemose is the Chair of the Delegation for relations with Japan

18 Mar 2014

As shadow rapporteur on behalf of parliament's S&D group, I have fought in particular for three key priorities, and I am very satisfied with the fact that these priorities are now a part of the final report from internal market and consumer protection committee and thus a part of the whole consumer protection package that will be put up for vote in plenary on 16 April.

First, member states must take more responsibility. We must ensure that the member states earmark enough resources to their market surveillance authorities in order to have a well-functioning system in the EU. The tasks must not just be appropriate, we need to ensure that member states use comprehensive tools and measures in order to make sure that only safe products are on the market.

Second, we need a pan-European injury database. The parliament now supports the idea of an injury database where the cause of the injury – in this case the products – are linked to the injury itself. And most importantly, there will be a central register in order to spot dangerous products on the market.

And finally, the precautionary principle is reintroduced. Somehow, the commission decided not to include the precautionary principle in the draft regulation. Therefore, it was of utmost importance to me to have it in the parliament's position which we succeeded in achieving. We simply must have it in this regulation in order to put a strong emphasis on always using caution when dealing with product safety and market surveillance.

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