Chapter 9: Product safety regulation
The development of a harmonised EU system of product safety regulation ‘on paper’ is far less problematic than harmonisation in other sectors. It is hardly controversial to assert that there should be a requirement throughout the EU that unsafe products should not be placed on the market. To this extent, progress towards EU norms governing the health and safety of consumers raises far fewer fundamental questions of legal culture and regulatory technique than arise in the field of legal action to protect the economic interests of consumers. And consumer safety has long been high on the EU’s agenda, from the very first Council Resolution of April 1975 on a preliminary programme for a consumer protection and information policy, which summed up consumer interests in a statement of five basic rights, the first of which was ‘the right to protection of health and safety’, through to the Commission’s May 2012 Communication, ‘A European Consumer Agenda – Boosting confidence and growth’, which lists four key objectives, one of which is improving consumer safety.
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