BETA


2018/0089(COD) Representative actions for the protection of the collective interests of consumers

Progress: Awaiting Council 1st reading position / budgetary conciliation convocation

RoleCommitteeRapporteurShadows
Lead JURI DIDIER Geoffroy (icon: PPE PPE) DELVAUX Mady (icon: S&D S&D), DZHAMBAZKI Angel (icon: ECR ECR), ROHDE Jens (icon: ALDE ALDE), CHRYSOGONOS Kostas (icon: GUE/NGL GUE/NGL), HAUTALA Heidi (icon: Verts/ALE Verts/ALE), FERRARA Laura (icon: EFDD EFDD)
Committee Opinion IMCO DE JONG Dennis (icon: GUE/NGL GUE/NGL) Matthijs van MILTENBURG (icon: ALDE ALDE), Julia REDA (icon: Verts/ALE Verts/ALE), Virginie ROZIÈRE (icon: S&D S&D), Andreas SCHWAB (icon: PPE PPE), Richard SULÍK (icon: ECR ECR), Marco ZULLO (icon: EFDD EFDD)
Committee Opinion TRAN MAYER Georg (icon: ENF ENF) Jacqueline FOSTER (icon: ECR ECR), Matthijs van MILTENBURG (icon: ALDE ALDE), Keith TAYLOR (icon: Verts/ALE Verts/ALE)
Lead committee dossier:
Legal Basis:
TFEU 114

Events

2019/07/30
   Commission response to text adopted in plenary
Documents
2019/03/26
   EP - Results of vote in Parliament
2019/03/26
   EP - Decision by Parliament, 1st reading/single reading
Details

The European Parliament adopted by 579 votes to 33 with 43 abstentions a legislative resolution on the 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.

The position of the European Parliament adopted at first reading under the ordinary legislative procedure has amended the Commission proposal as follows:

Purpose

The proposed directive would set out rules enabling qualified representative entities which represent the collective interest of consumers, to seek remedy and thereby, in particular, to achieve and enforce a high level of protection and access to justice, while at the same time ensuring appropriate safeguards to avoid abusive litigation. The directive would apply to representative actions brought against infringements with a high impact on consumers by professionals. It would be without prejudice to other forms of redress mechanisms provided for in national law.

The directive would respect the fundamental rights, and observe the principles, recognised by the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union and the European Convention on Human Rights, and in particular the right to a fair and impartial trial and the right to an effective remedy.

Qualified entities

Member States or their courts would designate within their respective territory at least one qualified representative entity for the purpose of bringing representative actions. Such entities should be non-profit-making, independent of market operators, including financially, have an established procedure to prevent conflicts of interest and should not have financial agreements with law firms.

These entities would provide that the qualified representative entities disclose publicly, by appropriate means, such as on its website, in plain and intelligible language, how it is financed, its organisational and management structure, its objective and its working methods as well as its activities. Member States shall also establish a list of representative entities complying with the criteria and make it publicly available. They shall communicate the list to the Commission updated where necessary.

The Commission shall publish the list of representative entities received from the Member States on a publicly accessible online portal.

Registry of collective redress actions

Parliament proposed that Member States set up a national register for representative actions, which should be available free of charge to any interested person through electronic means and/or otherwise.

Redress measures

T he redress measures aim to grant consumers concerned full compensation for their loss. In case of unclaimed amount left from the compensation, a court shall decide on the beneficiary of the remaining unclaimed amount. This unclaimed amount shall not go to the qualified representative entity nor to the trader.

In particular, punitive damages, leading to overcompensation in favour of the claimant party of the damage suffered, shall be prohibited. For instance, the compensation awarded to consumers harmed collectively shall not exceed the amount owed by the trader in accordance with the applicable national or Union law in order to cover the actual harm suffered by them individually.

Loser pay principle

The amended text proposed that Member States would ensure that the party that loses a collective redress action reimburses the legal costs borne by the winning party, subject to the conditions provided for in national law. However, the court or administrative authority should not award costs to the unsuccessful party to the extent that they were unnecessarily incurred or are disproportionate to the claim.

Information on representative actions

Member States should ensure that the representative entities:

inform consumers about the claimed violation of rights granted under Union law and the intention to seek an injunction or to pursue an action for damages, explain to consumers concerned already on beforehand the possibility to join the action in order to ensure that the relevant documents and other information necessary for the action are kept. where relevant, inform about subsequent steps and the potential legal consequences.

Effects of final decisions

Member States should ensure that a final decision of a court of one Member State establishing the existence or non-existence of the infringement for the purposes of any other actions seeking redress before their national courts in another Member State against the same trader for the same infringement is considered as a rebuttable presumption.

Member States are encouraged to create a database containing all final decisions on redress actions that could facilitate other redress measures, and to share their best practices in this field.

Cross-border representative actions

The amended text clarifies that the Member State in which a collective redress procedure takes place could require a mandate from the consumers who are resident in this Member State and should require a mandate from individual consumers based in another Member State where the action is cross-border.

Public Register

The competent national authorities should set up a public register of unlawful acts which have been the subject of injunction orders in accordance with the provisions of the directive.

Documents
2019/03/25
   EP - Debate in Parliament
2019/02/13
   SE_PARLIAMENT - Reasoned opinion
Documents
2018/12/07
   EP - Committee report tabled for plenary, 1st reading/single reading
Details

The Committee on Legal Affairs adopted the report by Geoffroy DIDIER (EPP, FR) on the 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.

The Committee on Internal Market and Consumer Protection, exercising its prerogative as an associated committee in accordance with Rule 54 of the Rules of Procedure, also gave its opinion on the report.

The committee recommended that the European Parliament's position adopted at first reading under the ordinary legislative procedure should amend the Commission's proposal.

Subject matter : the proposed Directive sets out rules enabling qualified representative entities to seek representative actions aimed at the protection of the collective interests of consumers and thereby, in particular, achieve and enforce a high level of protection and access to justice, while at the same time ensuring appropriate safeguards to avoid abusive litigation.

It shall be without prejudice to other forms of redress mechanisms provided for in national law.

Scope : it shall respect the fundamental rights, and observe the principles, recognised by the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union and the European Convention on Human Rights, and in particular the right to a fair and impartial trial and the right to an effective remedy.

Qualified representative entities : Member States or its courts shall designate within their respective territory at least one qualified representative entities for the purpose of bringing representative actions. They shall provide that the qualified representative entities disclose publicly , by appropriate means, such as on its website, in plain and intelligible language, how it is financed , its organisational and management structure, its objective and its working methods as well as its activities. Member States shall also establish a list of representative entities complying with the criteria and make it publicly available. They shall communicate the list to the Commission updated where necessary.

The Commission shall publish the list of representative entities received from the Member States on a publicly accessible online portal.

Registry of collective redress actions : Members proposed that Member States may set up a national register for representative actions, which shall be available free of charge to any interested person through electronic means and/or otherwise.

Redress measures : t he redress measures aim to grant consumers concerned full compensation for their loss. In case of unclaimed amount left from the compensation, a court shall decide on the beneficiary of the remaining unclaimed amount. This unclaimed amount shall not go to the qualified representative entity nor to the trader.

In particular, punitive damages , leading to overcompensation in favour of the claimant party of the damage suffered, shall be prohibited. For instance, the compensation awarded to consumers harmed collectively shall not exceed the amount owed by the trader in accordance with the applicable national or Union law in order to cover the actual harm suffered by them individually.

Loser pay principle : the amended text proposed that Member States shall ensure that the party that loses a collective redress action reimburses the legal costs borne by the winning party, subject to the conditions provided for in national law. However, the court or administrative authority shall not award costs to the unsuccessful party to the extent that they were unnecessarily incurred or are disproportionate to the claim.

Information on representative actions : Member States shall ensure that the representative entities:

inform consumers about the claimed violation of rights granted under Union law and the intention to seek an injunction or to pursue an action for damages, explain to consumers concerned already on beforehand the possibility to join the action in order to ensure that the relevant documents and other information necessary for the action are kept. where relevant, inform about subsequent steps and the potential legal consequences.

Effects of final decisions : Member States shall ensure that a final decision of a court of one Member State establishing the existence or non-existence of the infringement for the purposes of any other actions seeking redress before their national courts in another Member State against the same trader for the same infringement shall be considered as a rebuttable presumption.

Member States are encouraged to create a database containing all final decisions on redress actions that could facilitate other redress measures, and to share their best practices in this field.

Review clause : the Commission shall assess whether cross-border representative actions could be best addressed at Union level by establishing a European Ombudsman for collective redress . No later than three years after the entry into force of this Directive, the Commission shall draw up a report in this regard and submit it to the European Parliament and the Council, accompanied, if appropriate, by a relevant proposal.

Documents
2018/12/06
   EP - Amendments tabled in committee
Documents
2018/12/06
   EP - Vote in committee, 1st reading/single reading
2018/12/06
   EP - Committee decision to open interinstitutional negotiations with report adopted in committee
2018/11/26
   EP - Committee opinion
Documents
2018/11/23
   EP - Committee opinion
Documents
2018/11/14
   DE_BUNDESRAT - Contribution
Documents
2018/11/08
   EP - Amendments tabled in committee
Documents
2018/11/08
   EP - Amendments tabled in committee
Documents
2018/10/24
   AT_BUNDESRAT - Reasoned opinion
Documents
2018/10/12
   EP - Committee draft report
Documents
2018/10/10
   CofR - Committee of the Regions: opinion
Documents
2018/10/05
   EDPS - Document attached to the procedure
Details

OPINION of the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) on the legislative package ‘A new deal for consumers’.

This opinion sets out the EDPS's position on the legislative package entitled 'A new deal for consumers', which consists of (i) a proposal for a Directive as regards better enforcement and modernisation of EU consumer protection rules; (ii) the proposal for a Directive on representative actions for the protection of the collective interests of consumers.

While welcoming the new proposal on collective redress, the EDPS considers that ‘the qualified entities’ that will be able to bring the representative actions in this field under the Proposal should be subject to the same conditions as set out in Article 80 General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Along the same lines, the Proposal on collective redress should clarify that the representative actions regarding data protection issues can only be brought before administrative authorities that are the data protection supervisory authority within the meaning of Articles 4(21) and 51 GDPR.

The EDPS considers that the application of two different mechanisms on collective redress, to the GDPR and to the future e-Privacy Regulation, alongside other substantive points of interaction between consumer and data protection, requires more systematic cooperation between the consumer protection and data protection authorities that could be done, for instance, within the already existing voluntary network of the enforcement bodies from competition, consumer and data protection areas — the Digital Clearinghouse.

In this context, the EDPS considers that it is important to further explore the synergies between the data protection and consumer law. It recommends that the cooperation between the consumer protection and data protection authorities should become more systematic wherever specific issues that are of interest for both side arise, in which consumer welfare and data protection concerns appear to be at stake.

2018/09/19
   ESC - Economic and Social Committee: opinion, report
Documents
2018/09/13
   EP - Referral to associated committees announced in Parliament
2018/08/02
   CZ_SENATE - Contribution
Documents
2018/06/28
   PT_PARLIAMENT - Contribution
Documents
2018/06/14
   CZ_CHAMBER - Contribution
Documents
2018/05/23
   EP - MAYER Georg (ENF) appointed as rapporteur in TRAN
2018/05/22
   EP - DIDIER Geoffroy (PPE) appointed as rapporteur in JURI
2018/05/16
   EP - DE JONG Dennis (GUE/NGL) appointed as rapporteur in IMCO
2018/05/02
   EP - Committee referral announced in Parliament, 1st reading/single reading
2018/04/13
   EC - Document attached to the procedure
Documents
2018/04/13
   EC - Document attached to the procedure
2018/04/11
   EC - Legislative proposal published
Details

PURPOSE: to improve instruments to put an end to unlawful practices and facilitate remedies when a large number of them are victims of the same infringement of their rights, as part of a mass injury.

PROPOSED ACT: Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council.

ROLE OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT: the European Parliament decides in accordance with the ordinary legislative procedure and on an equal footing with the Council.

BACKGROUND: the fitness check of EU consumer and marketing law, which also covers Directive 2009/22/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on injunctions for the protection of consumers' interests, demonstrated that the risk of infringements of Union law affecting the collective interests of consumers is increasing due to economic globalisation and digitalisation. In view of the increase in cross-border trade, it is increasingly common for such infringements to affect consumers in several Member States.

The absence of an EU-wide collective redress mechanism is of particular practical relevance to consumer protection, as shown by concrete cases, including the diesel emissions case.

In its resolution of 2 February 2012 , the European Parliament stressed the need for a horizontal EU approach to collective redress focusing on breaches of consumer rights, based on a common set of principles respecting national legal traditions and providing safeguards against abusive litigation.

In this context, this proposal aims to modernise and replace Directive 2009/22/EC on injunctions . It is presented together with the proposal on targeted amendments to four EU consumer law Directives as part of the "New Deal for Consumers".

IMPACT ASSESSMENT: the option chosen is to tighten the rules on sanctions, to improve the efficiency of the injunction procedure and to add other measures concerning collective redress for consumers. Stronger mechanisms for collective redress would ensure a higher level of consumer protection in mass harm situations and reduce consumer detriment. As concerns efficiency, all options could lead to initial familiarisation costs, but also to savings for compliant traders.

CONTENT: the new Directive replacing Directive 2009/22/EC would aim to ensure that "qualified entities" - for example consumer organisations – may seek representative actions to protect the collective interests of consumers .

For example, in a Dieselgate-type scenario, victims of unfair commercial practices, such as misleading advertising by car manufacturers, will be able to obtain remedies collectively through a representative action under this proposal. Such collective redress was previously not provided under Union law.

The proposed new Directive:

covers all infringements by traders of Union law that harm or may harm the collective interests of consumers in a variety of sectors such as financial services, energy, telecommunications, health and the environment; enables qualified entities to be able to seek measures aimed at eliminating the continuing effects of the infringement. These measures should take the form of a redress order obligating the trader to provide for, inter alia , compensation, repair, replacement, price reduction, contract termination or reimbursement of the price paid, as appropriate and as available under national laws. These qualified entities will have to satisfy minimum reputational criteria (they must be properly established, not for profit and have a legitimate interest in ensuring compliance with the relevant EU law). For compensatory collective redress actions, qualified entities would also be required to disclose to the courts or administrative authorities their financial capacity and the origin of their funds supporting the action and to ensure that there are no conflicts of interests or risks of abuse in a given case; sets out the rules requiring the infringing trader to adequately inform the consumers concerned about the final injunction orders, final decisions on measures eliminating continuing effects of the infringements. This provision ensures consumers' awareness about the breach of law and their redress opportunities; requires Member States to ensure that all representative actions are treated with due diligence and that representative actions seeking an interim injunction order are dealt with under an accelerated procedure, while avoiding that procedural costs become a financial barrier to representative actions; favours collective out-of-court settlements, under the control of the courts or administrative authorities. If a decision finding an infringement has become final, it should be irrefutable evidence in any subsequent redress action in the same Member State; ensures the application of effective, dissuasive and proportionate sanctions in cases where a defendant does not comply with a final decision of a court or administrative authority in a representative action.

Documents

Votes

A8-0447/2018 - Geoffroy Didier - Vote unique 26/03/2019 12:35:02.000

2019/03/26 Outcome: +: 579, 0: 43, -: 33
DE FR ES IT GB RO BE PL NL CZ SE BG PT FI DK SK HU AT EL HR LV IE LT SI LU EE MT CY
Total
89
68
47
64
60
22
21
47
24
20
18
17
20
13
13
13
13
15
11
9
8
8
8
8
6
6
6
1
icon: PPE PPE
194

United Kingdom PPE

2

Denmark PPE

For (1)

1

Greece PPE

For (1)

1
3

Luxembourg PPE

3

Estonia PPE

For (1)

1
icon: S&D S&D
158

Netherlands S&D

3

Czechia S&D

3

Croatia S&D

2

Latvia S&D

1

Ireland S&D

For (1)

1

Lithuania S&D

1

Slovenia S&D

For (1)

1

Luxembourg S&D

For (1)

1

Estonia S&D

For (1)

1

Malta S&D

3
icon: ALDE ALDE
64

United Kingdom ALDE

1

Romania ALDE

2

Portugal ALDE

1

Austria ALDE

For (1)

1

Croatia ALDE

For (1)

1

Latvia ALDE

1

Ireland ALDE

For (1)

1

Lithuania ALDE

2

Slovenia ALDE

For (1)

1

Luxembourg ALDE

For (1)

1

Estonia ALDE

3
icon: Verts/ALE Verts/ALE
48

Italy Verts/ALE

For (1)

1

Belgium Verts/ALE

2

Netherlands Verts/ALE

2

Finland Verts/ALE

For (1)

1

Denmark Verts/ALE

For (1)

1

Hungary Verts/ALE

1

Austria Verts/ALE

3

Croatia Verts/ALE

For (1)

1

Latvia Verts/ALE

1

Lithuania Verts/ALE

For (1)

1

Slovenia Verts/ALE

For (1)

1

Luxembourg Verts/ALE

For (1)

1

Estonia Verts/ALE

For (1)

1
icon: ECR ECR
66

Romania ECR

For (1)

1

Netherlands ECR

2

Czechia ECR

2

Sweden ECR

2

Bulgaria ECR

2
2

Croatia ECR

For (1)

1

Latvia ECR

For (1)

1
icon: GUE/NGL GUE/NGL
44

Italy GUE/NGL

2

United Kingdom GUE/NGL

1

Netherlands GUE/NGL

3

Sweden GUE/NGL

For (1)

1

Portugal GUE/NGL

For (1)

4

Finland GUE/NGL

For (1)

1

Denmark GUE/NGL

For (1)

1

Ireland GUE/NGL

3

Cyprus GUE/NGL

1
icon: ENF ENF
31

Germany ENF

Against (1)

1

United Kingdom ENF

2

Belgium ENF

Abstain (1)

1

Poland ENF

2

Netherlands ENF

3

Austria ENF

2
icon: NI NI
16

Germany NI

1

France NI

For (1)

Against (1)

2

Italy NI

Abstain (1)

1

United Kingdom NI

For (1)

Against (2)

3

Denmark NI

1

Hungary NI

For (1)

1
icon: EFDD EFDD
34

Germany EFDD

Against (1)

1

Poland EFDD

1

Czechia EFDD

Against (1)

1

Lithuania EFDD

For (1)

1

A8-0447/2018 - Geoffroy Didier - Vote unique

2019/03/26 Outcome: +: 579, 0: 43, -: 33
DE FR ES IT GB RO BE PL NL CZ SE BG PT FI DK SK HU AT EL HR LV IE LT SI LU EE MT CY
Total
89
68
47
64
60
22
21
47
24
20
18
17
20
13
13
13
13
15
11
9
8
8
8
8
6
6
6
1
icon: PPE PPE
194

United Kingdom PPE

2

Denmark PPE

For (1)

1

Greece PPE

For (1)

1
3

Luxembourg PPE

3

Estonia PPE

For (1)

1
icon: S&D S&D
158

Netherlands S&D

3

Czechia S&D

3

Croatia S&D

2

Latvia S&D

1

Ireland S&D

For (1)

1

Lithuania S&D

1

Slovenia S&D

For (1)

1

Luxembourg S&D

For (1)

1

Estonia S&D

For (1)

1

Malta S&D

3
icon: ALDE ALDE
64

United Kingdom ALDE

1

Romania ALDE

2

Portugal ALDE

1

Austria ALDE

For (1)

1

Croatia ALDE

For (1)

1

Latvia ALDE

1

Ireland ALDE

For (1)

1

Lithuania ALDE

2

Slovenia ALDE

For (1)

1

Luxembourg ALDE

For (1)

1

Estonia ALDE

3
icon: Verts/ALE Verts/ALE
48

Italy Verts/ALE

For (1)

1

Belgium Verts/ALE

2

Netherlands Verts/ALE

2

Finland Verts/ALE

For (1)

1

Denmark Verts/ALE

For (1)

1

Hungary Verts/ALE

1

Austria Verts/ALE

3

Croatia Verts/ALE

For (1)

1

Latvia Verts/ALE

1

Lithuania Verts/ALE

For (1)

1

Slovenia Verts/ALE

For (1)

1

Luxembourg Verts/ALE

For (1)

1

Estonia Verts/ALE

For (1)

1
icon: ECR ECR
66

Romania ECR

For (1)

1

Netherlands ECR

2

Czechia ECR

2

Sweden ECR

2

Bulgaria ECR

2
2

Croatia ECR

For (1)

1

Latvia ECR

For (1)

1
icon: GUE/NGL GUE/NGL
44

Italy GUE/NGL

2

United Kingdom GUE/NGL

1

Netherlands GUE/NGL

3

Sweden GUE/NGL

For (1)

1

Portugal GUE/NGL

For (1)

4

Finland GUE/NGL

For (1)

1

Denmark GUE/NGL

For (1)

1

Ireland GUE/NGL

3

Cyprus GUE/NGL

1
icon: ENF ENF
31

Germany ENF

Against (1)

1

United Kingdom ENF

2

Belgium ENF

Abstain (1)

1

Poland ENF

2

Netherlands ENF

3

Austria ENF

2
icon: NI NI
16

Germany NI

1

France NI

For (1)

Against (1)

2

Italy NI

Abstain (1)

1

United Kingdom NI

For (1)

Against (2)

3

Denmark NI

1

Hungary NI

For (1)

1
icon: EFDD EFDD
34

Germany EFDD

Against (1)

1

Poland EFDD

1

Czechia EFDD

Against (1)

1

Lithuania EFDD

For (1)

1
AmendmentsDossier
955 2018/0089(COD)
2018/09/28 IMCO 303 amendments...
source: 628.456
2018/10/16 TRAN 63 amendments...
source: 628.711
2018/11/08 JURI 589 amendments...