Spain promotes the protection of vulnerable consumers in the face of new digital and eco-social challenges in Europe and Latin America

News - 2023.9.14

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The acting Minister for Consumer Affairs, Alberto Garzón, has highlighted the Spanish government's protection of vulnerable consumers in the face of the new digital and eco-social challenges facing Europe and Latin America.

Garzón made this statement at the meeting held in Madrid between representatives of the Ibero-American Forum of Governmental Consumer Protection Agencies (FIAGC) and European Commission authorities, as part of the activities of the Spanish Presidency of the Council of the EU.

This meeting brought together different authorities and civil society organisations from both regions, addressing issues of common interest, paying special attention to the protection of vulnerable consumers, new types of online commercial communications and the challenges and opportunities arising from e-commerce.

Together with the European Commissioner for Justice and Consumer Affairs, Didier Reynders, and the representative of the FIAGC, Alejandro Pérez, Garzón emphasised the "need to strengthen relations between countries and international cooperation to jointly address the new challenges and obstacles that the current production and consumption model puts on the table". Among them, the acting consumer affairs minister highlighted two in particular: digitalisation and the eco-social crisis.

According to Garzón, the work carried out by the Spanish government to recognise the figure of the vulnerable consumer and "attend to those who are most helpless in the market" has been "a priority to tackle an unequal social reality that goes beyond economic issues and also has to do with age or accessibility".

"New technologies are more dynamic and are introduced faster than the regulations that we countries are able to implement, which forces us to be very vigilant in trying to curb any pressure that may exist for companies to commit possible fraud against consumers," he explained.

The acting Minister for Consumer Affairs also warned of the challenge facing Europe and Latin America in the face of the "far-reaching issue" of protecting, defending and caring for the environment. "We share a habitat and it is threatened by a very specific production and consumption model, where supply and demand issues play a major role," he emphasised.

In this sense, Garzón pointed out that, although "the eco-social crisis has traditionally been approached from the supply and producer side, a great deal can also be done from the demand and consumption side". He therefore called for us to make visible "the social, economic and ecological implications of consumption so that we are aware of this footprint and know that, as consumers, we also have the capacity to change the system".

Non official translation