30 November 2020, Budapest – The annual conference of the largest international umbrella organisation of consumer protection authorities is beginning today, where the Hungarian Competition Authority (GVH) is going to represent the European COVID-19 working group of this global organisation. The invitation also constitutes a recognition of the action taken by Hungary to provide protection for consumers amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

         The annual conference of the ICPEN (International Consumer Protection and Enforcement Network), which brings together the consumer protection authorities of 64 countries and is presided over by the Canadian competition authority, is commencing today. During the three-day conference of the global organisation, Hungary is going to present the consumer protection challenges posed by the pandemic situation in Europe. The representatives of consumer protection and competition authorities are going to discuss the current issues of this field of law, including law enforcement during the COVID-19 pandemic, digital platforms, and artificial intelligence.

The European COVID-19 working group of the global organisation appointed the representative of the Hungarian Competition Authority to describe the experiences of the continent at the conference. Therefore, Hungary is going to the be country which presents the challenges faced while combating unfair commercial practices related to the COVID-19 pandemic across Europe. The experience of the GVH shows that certain unlawful commercial practices, which primarily prey on the consumers’ fears, have become significantly more prevalent in the pandemic situation.

However, the GVH did not only play a role in the COVID-19 working group of the international organisation: it also contributed to the work of the working groups  dealing with misleading advertising claims about the “environmentally-friendly” nature of products, digital platforms, and potential enforcement areas in the digital economy as well.

The GVH has previously contributed to the joint European consumer protection action concerning the pandemic, coordinated by the European Commission, as a result of which several millions of misleading advertisements were removed from online space.

The international professional recognition archived by the GVH over the course of the last three decades is also apparent from the fact that in 2021, Hungary is going to host the annual conference of the International Competition Network (ICN), which brings together competition authorities from around the world. The GVH is expecting to receive 500 leaders of authorities and competition law experts from 139 countries during the 3-day world congress. According to the plans, an additional 2000 people will be following the event live on the internet from around the globe. The promotional video of the event can be viewed on the website of the Authority.

GVH Press Office

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