The European Commission has published a proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on cooperation between national authorities responsible for the enforcement of consumer protection laws (Regulation).

It is proposed that the Regulation will replace the existing Regulation on consumer protection cooperation 2006/2004  (CPC Regulation) to respond to challenges of the digital economy and the development of cross-border retail trade in the EU.  The proposal for a modernised Regulation is part of the European Commission’s 2016 Work Programme.

The European Commission explains that while the existing CPC Regulation has strengthened the enforcement of consumer laws across the EU, a high level of non-compliance with the key Union consumer rules persists in the main consumer markets.  The CPC Regulation does not provide strong and equal enforcement of these laws across the Union.  The European Commission estimates that, based on a representative sample of five online sectors (including consumer credit) 37% of EU ecommerce did not respect Union consumer law in 2014.

It is hoped that the Regulation will address the identified shortcomings of the CPC Regulation.  The general objective of the proposal is to develop modern, efficient and effective consumer protection cooperation mechanisms that will reduce the consumer detriment caused by cross-border and widespread infringements to Union consumer law.  This includes in particular reducing situations where important cross-border and widespread infringements are not detected or sufficiently addressed through the CPC Regulation and ensuring that consumer protection authorities reach similar outcomes regarding the same malpractices.