On 11 April 2018, the European Commission issued legislative proposals for a new deal for consumers to ensure that EU consumers fully benefit from their rights under EU law.
In summary the new deal seeks to strengthen consumer rights online and give consumers the tools to enforce their rights and get compensation. In terms of strengthening consumer rights the Commission seeks to introduce more transparency in online market places and improve transparency on search results on online platforms. In terms of giving consumers tools to enforce their rights the new deal provides that it will be possible for a qualified entity, such as a consumer organisation, to seek redress, such as compensation, replacement or repair, on behalf of a group of consumers that have been harmed by an illegal commercial practice. In some Member States, it is already possible for consumers to launch collective actions in courts, but this possibility will be available in all EU countries.
The Commission’s legislative proposals comprise of a proposal:
- to amend the Directive on unfair terms in consumer contracts, Directive on consumer protection in the indication of the prices of products offered to consumers, Directive concerning unfair business-to-consumer commercial practise and Directive on consumer rights. The proposals aim is to ensure better enforcement and to modernise EU consumer protection rules, in particular in light of digital developments; and
- on representative actions for the protection of the collective interests of consumers and repealing the Injunctions Directive 2009/22/EC. This proposal aims to improve tools for stopping illegal practices and facilitating redress for consumers where many of them are victims of the same infringement of their rights, in a mass harm situation.
The Commission’s legislative proposals will be discussed by the European Parliament and the Council.