First EU-wide rules on collective redress for consumers

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In the future, consumers in Europe will be able to collectively sue companies. Today, the European Parliament will adopt new rules under which consumers will be better protected against mass harm situations triggered by scandals such as the recent Dieselgate scandal. The EPP Group achieved a fair balance between the interests of consumers and businesses while avoiding the risk of US-style class actions.

“At each stage of the negotiations, I have been keen to listen to everyone and to strike a balance between legitimate increased consumer protection and the need for legal certainty for businesses”, said Geoffroy Didier MEP, EPP Group Deputy Spokesman in the Legal Affairs Committee and Parliament's negotiator for the Collective Redress Directive.

The EPP Group managed to ensure that the new rules bring more fairness to consumers, not more business for law firms. Only qualified entities, such as consumer organisations and independent public bodies, designated by EU Member States according to strict criteria, including their non-profit making character, can bring representative actions for redress. “To further avoid abusive lawsuits, we managed to introduce the ‘loser pays principle’ and insisted that courts or administrative authorities might decide to dismiss manifestly unfounded cases”, Didier stated.

“In a period of economic crisis in which Europe is being tested, the European Union is demonstrating that it can adapt to new realities, better protect its citizens and offer them new concrete rights in the face of globalisation and its excesses”, concluded Didier.

Today’s vote will confirm a political agreement from June 2020. Member States have 24 months to transpose the Directive into their national laws once it is published in the Official Journal of the EU.

Note to editors

The EPP Group is the largest political group in the European Parliament with 187 Members from all EU Member States

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