New rules to help consumers join forces to seek compensation

consumers 2019

(Frankie Cordoba, 2019)

This article is brought to you in association with the European Parliament.


Rules allowing groups of consumers harmed by illegal practices to launch collective actions and seek compensation were confirmed by plenary on Tuesday.

Currently, only 19 member states provide some form of legal remedy to victims of mass harm and proceedings can often be lengthy and costly, especially if victims go to court individually.

The new rules address concerns raised by recent mass harm scandals with cross-border implications (Dieselgate, Ryanair). They would allow group action against trader violations with a broad public impact in domestic and cross-border cases in different consumer areas such as data protection, financial services, travel and tourism, energy, telecommunications, environment and health.

The new representative action rules would:

  • strengthen the right to access to justice by allowing consumers to join forces across borders and jointly request that unlawful practices be stopped or prevented, or to obtain compensation for the harm;
  • harmonise collective redress mechanisms and end disparities across member states;
  • reduce the financial burden and make remedies more accessible through collective representation;
  • strike a balance between citizens’ access to justice and protecting businesses from abusive lawsuits through the “loser pays principle introduced by MEPs.

Eligible representation and safeguards

Under the new draft rules, representative action can only be brought by eligible entities, such as consumer organisations and certain independent bodies designated by member states. These should be non-profit and have no financial agreements with law firms.

Finally, the text requires the Commission, within three years, to assess if a European Ombudsman for collective redress should be established.

Quote

The rapporteur Geoffroy Didier (EPP, FR) saidThis reform strikes the right balance between increasing consumer protection on one hand and the necessary legal safety for companies; it goes even further, by showing that safety and security need to go hand in hand.

“The aim is not to punish anyone, but to compensate victims for any loss. The text also ensures all dangers and failures inherent in American class action are avoided” concluded Didier.

Next steps

Plenary confirmed its negotiating position by 579 votes to 33, with 43 abstentions. For the legislation to enter into force, both Parliament and Council need to find an agreement, but talks cannot start before the latter adopts its position.

Background

The Representative Action Directive is a part of the New Deal for Consumers, launched in April 2018 by the European Commission, to ensure stronger consumer protection in the EU. It includes stronger consumer rights online, tools to enforce rights and compensation, penalties for violating EU consumer law and improved business conditions.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the European Sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

UN boosts humanitarian appeal to help tackle Zimbabwe’s ‘worst-ever’ hunger crisis

Movius @ MWC14: Discussing novel Communications Applications over a “CAFÉ”

Erasmus+ will finance existing UK-EU mobility in the event of no-deal Brexit

The needs, challenges and power dynamics of refugee resettlement

Thursday’s Daily Brief: Safeguarding civilians, strengthening Ebola response in DR Congo, marking Fistula Day, updates on CAR and Syria

Eurozone: A Sluggish economy offers no extra jobs

Parliament in favour of lifting visa requirements for Kosovars

Fostering global citizenship in medicine

This is the state of the world’s health, in numbers

African continent ‘an example of solidarity’ towards migrants and refugees: UN chief

Ercom, cutting-edge Telco solutions from Europe

Fresh airstrikes kill dozens in conflict-ravaged Syria

Hiring more female leaders is good for profits. Here’s the evidence

Four ways Europe can become a global innovation leader

The new general election will secure Greece’s position in Eurozone; at least for some time

Silicon Valley can do more to achieve the #GlobalGoals

The glimmers of hope in the latest dire climate report

‘Habitual residence’ rules deprive EU workers from social benefits

‘No steps taken’ so far to end Israel’s illegal settlement activity on Palestinian land – UN envoy

Back to school: Schoolchildren to receive milk, fruits and vegetables at school thanks to EU programme

Neither side stands to benefit in US-China trade spat, UN says

3 reasons why business leaders can’t afford to ignore diversity

The US banks drive the developing world to a catastrophe

The secret to ending war? It’s too easy: more women in peace negotiations

8 things we need to do to tackle humanitarian crises in 2019

Ukraine’s Poroshenko implicates NATO in his duel with Putin

To flourish in the Fourth Industrial Revolution, we need to rethink these 3 things

Countries must up their game to reduce low birth weights, warns UN-backed report

Moving from commitment to action on LGBTI equality

UN chief condemns explosion at election rally in Zimbabwe that injured dozens, including senior politicians

We had the hottest June ever this year – this is what happened around the world

UN chief welcomes power-sharing deal between Sudanese military and opposition

Abuse of authority provisions adopted by the Senate raise concerns over Brazil’s capacity to ensure independence of prosecutors and judges in fighting corruption

Technology is delivering better access to financial services. Here’s how

Work Together to Build a New Type of International Relations and a Community with a Shared Future for Humanity

Work to make the world a better place: 5 things you need to know about ‘green jobs’

Five years down the drain

Healthcare for refugees: a necessary symbiosis of medicine and politics

‘Much more’ can be done to raise awareness about the plight of persons with albinism: UN chief

World Health Organisation and young doctors: is there any place for improvement?

MEPs want robust EU cyber defence and closer ties with NATO

FROM THE FIELD: Rohingya babies conceived out of ‘incomprehensible brutality’

North Korean families facing deep ‘hunger crisis’ after worst harvest in 10 years, UN food assessment shows

This is why attractive cities do better economically

Services are the hidden side of the US-China trade war

Number of MEPs to be reduced after EU elections in 2019

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed wins Nobel Peace Prize

The West is struggling to hit its climate targets. What would the developing world do differently?

MWC 2016 LIVE: GTI shifts to phase two – 5G – after hitting milestones

UN refugee agency ‘deeply shocked’ at stabbing death of ‘deeply courageous’ Polish mayor

Can elections in Italy and Germany derail Eurozone?

Sub10 Systems @ MWC14: Bridging the Ethernet of the Future

Facebook and Google to treat Europe as the 51st State of the USA

MWC 2016 LIVE: BlackBerry acquires Encription, talks Microsoft and health

One person dies by suicide every 40 seconds: new UN health agency report

At this Italian bookshop, children swap their recycling for something to read

The EU now has rules that say household appliances must be easier to fix

Dieselgate: Parliament calls for mandatory retrofits of polluting cars

Women to save Europe’s own labour resources

ITU Telecom World 2018 takes place in Durban, South Africa

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s