Bence Tuzson - Photo: Facebook

Tuzson: Consumer protection to be among EU presidency priority areas

Consumer protection is one of Europe's greatest challenges, and it will be among priority areas during Hungary's European Union presidency in 2024, the justice minister said on Thursday.

The EU must introduce a common legal framework and rules that can be applied in this area, given the importance of competitiveness to the EU, he said, adding that GDPR data rules were key for the protection of personal rights but economic effects should also be taken into consideration.

“The US does not fulfil these obligations and therefore US companies currently know more about European consumers than EU member states that are not allowed to access such data,” he said.

Tuzson said the European approach of giving priority to rule-of-law principles to the detriment of competitiveness was a mistake, and the continent was increasingly falling behind. He called for the EU’s competitiveness to be rooted in legal areas related to consumer rights, and national laws must also be enforced in order to achieve this, he added at an event held in the economic competition office.

Several state organisations in Hungary were affected by this issue, he said, citing the national food chain safety authority Nebih and the central bank.

“Recent years have brought many new tasks: legal materials had to be reviewed, and several thousand checks were launched in connection with inflation,” he said. Online, cross-border purchases and internet markets posed the greatest difficulties because it was more difficult to enforce consumer protection requirements on them, he said.

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