Goods and services (Directive 2004/113)

AuthorDavulis, Tomas
9 Goods and services (Directive 2004/113)55
9.1 General (legal) context
9.1.1 Surveys and reports about the difficulties linked to equal access to and supply of
goods and services
No surveys addressing the difficulties linked to equal access to and supply of goods and
services were carried out.
9.1.2 Specific problems of discrimination in the online environment/digital
market/collaborative economy
No relevant issues of discrimination in the online environment/digital market/collaborative
economy have been raised so far.
9.1.3 Political and societal debate
No significant debates can be identified as regards equal access to and supply of goods
and services.
9.2 Prohibition of direct and indirect discrimination
The EOAWM prima facie me ets the requirements of Directive 20 04/113/EC as it prohibits
any discrimination in the area of ‘consumer protection’ (Article 7 of the EOAWM). The
EOAWM only addresses relationships between consumers and salespersons, producers and
service providers, as it states that salespersons, producers and service providers m ust
apply equal payment terms or guarantees for products of the same or equ al value, goods
and services to all consumers irrespective of their sex. They also have to ensure that there
will be no humiliation, restriction of rights or granting of privileges, or the forming of any
public attitudes to the superiority of one sex over another when providi ng information on
their products, goods a nd services or when advertising them. Furthermore, the EOAWM
lists discriminatory acts such as granting different conditions of payment or guarantees
for goods of the sam e or equal value, services or products or allowing different
opportunities for selecting goods; presenting information about products, goods and
services or advertisements publicly promoting the opinion that one sex is superior to
another; discrimination against co nsumers on the ground of sex; an d inti midation of a
person who has complain ed about discrimination. There will be no direct discrimination if
the sale of goods or the provision of services to persons of a certain sex or to the majority
of persons of a certain sex is justified by a legitimate aim, provided that these restrictions
are appropriate and necessary.
9.3 Material scope
The EOAWM does not clarify whether access to goods and services is covered to the full
extent. The structural deficit lies in t he fact that due to lack of consi stency and deficits in
transposition, the la w defines differently the obligations of individuals (in Chapter II,
entitled ‘Implementation of Equal Rights for Men and Women’) and the punishable
breaches of the principle of equal treatment (in Chapter III, entitled ‘Violation of Equal
Rights of Women and Men’).
Only actions listed in Article 13 of the EOAWM (Chapter III) but not in Article 7 (Chapter
II) entail an administrative penalty. In addition, Article 7 of the EOAWM (Chapter II) does
not prohibit situations where the refusal to supply goods or to provide services is based
55 See e.g. Caracciolo di Torella, E. and McLellan, B. (2018), Gender equality and the collaborative economy,
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