Consumer protection: Commission welcomes political agreement by Council on the Representative Actions Directive


(Joshua Rawson-Harris, Unsplash)

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

The Council has today adopted a general approach on the Commission proposal for a Directive on representative actions for the protection of the collective interests of consumers. Once in force, the new rules will enable consumers to claim their rights not only individually but also through collective actions. It will empower reputable organisations (so-called ‘qualified entities’) to launch actions on behalf of consumers.

Welcoming the Council’s decision, First Vice-President Frans Timmermans and Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality Věra Jourová said: “Cases like the Dieselgate scandal which caused mass and widespread harm have highlighted the need for urgent action at European level. This gap in citizens’ access to justice must be filled, and cheating businesses deterred from violating consumer rights. Today’s agreement in Council is an important step in achieving this. It achieves the main aim of the Commission’s proposal, to create an effective European model of collective redress in the form of representative actions available to all citizens in all Member States. The new mechanism will ensure that European consumers can fully benefit from their rights and obtain compensation when they fall victim to illegal practices. At the same time it will avoid the risk of abusive or unmerited litigation. The Commission now looks forward to engaging in negotiations with the European Parliament and the Council in order to reach a timely agreement on the Directive.”

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