On 6 April, the EESC invited to the hearing prominent experts from some of the most affected industries – including the leather, pharmaceutical, toy, construction and luxury sectors, as well as business and workers’ associations, relevant platforms and the European Commission (EC). Industry representatives reported on the challenges they have encountered in relation to counterfeiting and what they are already doing to tackle it.
The counterfeit goods industry is detrimental to jobs and growth in Europe and deprives governments of billions in tax revenues and threatens health and security of EU workers and citizens. Nevertheless, imports of fake goods have even doubled worldwide within 10 years due to digital trade. The hearing concludes that now it is high time for Europe’s legal framework to also arrive in the 21st century. The European Commission and the Member States urgently need to adapt their legal frameworks and ensure the necessary controls and market surveillance. Consumers need to be better informed, which is even a specific fundamental consumer right codified in Article 169 TFEU. Both the private and the public sectors need to cooperate in the fight against product piracy.