Parliament wants to grant EU consumers a “right to repair”

(Allef Vinicius, Unsplash)

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


Parliament wants to boost sustainability by promoting reuse and repairs and by tackling practices that shorten the lifespan of products.

The resolution on a more sustainable Single Market was adopted with 395 in favour, 94 against and 207 abstentions.

MEPs call on the Commission to grant consumers a “right to repair” by making repairs more appealing, systematic, and cost-efficient, whether by extending guarantees, providing guarantees for replaced parts, or better access to information on repair and maintenance.

They also insist on increasing support for second-hand goods markets, call for measures to tackle practices that shorten the lifetime of a product, and endorse sustainable production. MEPs reiterate their demand for a common charger system to reduce electronic waste and want products to be labelled according to their durability (e.g. a usage meter and clear information on the estimated lifespan of a product).

Remove obstacles that prevent repair, resale, and reuse

To encourage sustainable business and consumer choices, MEPs push for more sustainable public procurement as well as responsible marketing and advertising. For example, when environmentally friendly claims are made in advertisements, common criteria should be applied to support such a claim – similar to obtaining ecolabel certifications. The resolution also calls for the role of the EU ecolabel to be boosted so that it is used more by industry and to raise awareness among consumers.

Finally, the adopted text proposes new rules for waste management and the removal of legal obstacles that prevent repair, resale, and reuse. This will also benefit the secondary raw material market.

“The time has come to use the Green Deal objectives as the foundation of a single market that promotes durable products and services by design. To achieve this, we need a comprehensive set of rules that facilitates clear and simple decisions in place of technical amendments that lack political courage and which confuse both consumers and businesses. By adopting this report, the European Parliament sent a clear message: harmonised mandatory labelling indicating durability and tackling premature obsolescence at EU level are the way forward,” said Rapporteur David Cormand (Greens/EFA, FR).

Background

According to a Eurobarometer survey, 77% of EU citizens would rather repair their devices than replace them; 79% think that manufacturers should be legally obliged to facilitate the repair of digital devices or the replacement of their individual parts.

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