Good news for consumers: New rules to strengthen collective redress in the EU clear final hurdle

Today, the European Parliament adopted EU-wide rules for the protection of collective interest of consumers, the final step in the legislative procedure. This legislation, proposed by the Commission in 2018, will make collective redress available across the EU, covering a broad range of areas from financial services to passenger rights, from telecommunications to energy. It will empower consumers to enforce their rights and create a level-playing field for collective redress in the EU. Věra Jourová, Vice-President for Values and Transparency, said: “One single EU citizen taking a huge company to court – this used to be a very unfair battle. With the new directive things will improve: Consumers from all over the European Union can team up and seek justice and redress together.  I am very confident that these new rules will empower consumers to level the odds in disputes with today’s Goliaths.” Didier Reynders, Commissioner for Justice, said: The COVID-19 pandemic has further highlighted how necessary this directive is. This year we have seen massive cancellations of flights and travel packages, which have left consumers fighting for their reimbursement. Thanks to this new tool, EU consumers will be able to collectively seek redress when their rights have been breached. This is an important step forward for the rights of consumers.” The Representative Actions Directive will allow consumers to team up and jointly bring cases to a court to obtain compensation. It will provide for efficient cross-border collective redress actions between Member States. Numerous safeguards will make sure the procedure will not be abused. For example, only qualified entities, such as consumer organisations designated by EU Member States, will be able to launch an action. Today’s adoption by Parliament follows the Council’s adoption on 4 November. The Directive will enter into force 20 days after its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union, which is foreseen for December. Member States will have until January 2023 to transpose the new Directive.