Written by Gianluca Sgueo and Jana Valant
Consumer spending accounts for 57% of EU gross domestic product (GDP), which makes European consumers key to stimulating growth in the European economy. Between 2008 and 2010, the volume of intra-EU trade in consumer products amounted to almost €1 trillion. In 2013, the European Commission estimated the value of consumer and professional goods in the EU27 at approximately €2.1 trillion. However, according to a 2011 Eurobarometer study, less than 50% of EU consumers feel confident, knowledgeable and protected as consumers.
EU consumer policy for the 2014-2020 period is defined in the European Consumer Agenda, and complemented by the Consumer Programme in its financial aspects. The Consumer programme sets four specific objectives to enhance consumer protection, namely: safety; consumer information and education, and support for consumer organisations; consumer rights and redress; enforcement of rights.
The 2014-2020 programme has a budget of €188.8 million, corresponding to around €0.05 per consumer per year. Funds are also distributed through the Consumers, Health, Agriculture and Food Executive Agency (CHAFEA), either by providing grants or through public procurement. For 2015, the grants budget (implemented under direct management) is set at €10.45 million. The 2015 budget for public procurement is set at €11.56 million.
or see other publications we published inside the ‘How the EU budget is spent‘ series.