Tuesday, 24 October 2017

European Commission announces 'New Deal for Consumers'

Today, on 24 October 2017, the European Commission published its Work Programme 2018: an "agenda for a more united, stronger and more democratic Europe". The Commission announces that it will present a 'New Deal for Consumers' "to enhance judicial enforcement and out-of-court redress of consumer rights", as well as "to facilitate coordination and effective action by national consumer authorities". It aims at a "targeted revision" of the EU consumer directives following on the Fitness Check. No specific measures are proposed yet, but as we wrote last May: exciting times are ahead for EU consumer law. 

In the Results of the Fitness Check of consumer and marketing law, it has already been pointed out that there is no effective mechanism for collective action available at EU-level to compensate for a lack of incentive for individual enforcement (see e.g., Main report p. 246). BEUC and other consumer organisations have also asked for legislative measures in the aftermath of 'Dieselgate'. Last week, at a Politico Brussels Playbook Breakfast, Věra Jourová - European Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality - said that she would like to propose a EU-wide class action and collective redress. She also said a "package" of measures will be adopted in March 2018, presumably also in the field of consumer law (source: mLex market insight, 18 October 2017).

See also the editorial of Christian Twigg-Flesner in the latest issue of EuCML: 'From REFIT to a Rethink: Time for fundamental EU Consumer Law Reform?'

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