Proposal for a DIRECTIVE OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL on representative actions for the protection of the collective interests of consumers, and repealing Directive 2009/22/EC
1. This Explanatory Memoranda (EM) reports on the European Commission’s ‘New Deal for Consumers’ package of legislative proposals, which was published on 11 April 2018. The New Deal comprises two overarching ‘strands’ of action. The first, which concerns amendments to the four main horizontal EU consumer Directives, is the subject of a separate EM which was also published by this Department today.
2. This EM focuses on the second ‘strand’ of action: the proposal on representative actions for the protection of consumers’ collective interests. This legislative proposal stems from the EU Commission’s January 2018 report on its Recommendation on Collective Redress as well as the 2015-2017 Regulatory Fitness (“REFIT”) review of EU consumer and marketing law. This review found that whilst EU consumer law is fit for purpose overall, more should be done to ensure that consumers are fully aware of their rights and to ensure the rules are enforced effectively across the EU.
3. The Commission considers that a strong and efficient enforcement system is necessary to ensure that EU citizens are able to access adequate redress when things go wrong. Furthermore, evidence collected through the REFIT evaluation demonstrated that the risk of EU consumer law infringements affecting consumers on a large scale is increasing as a result of economic globalisation and digitalisation. For example, a trader which infringes EU law could affect thousands of consumers at the same time across a range of economic sectors.