Members of the European Parliament’s Legal Affairs Committee today adopted new rules protecting the collective interests of consumers. Until now, consumers in different Member States have not had the opportunity to join forces to pursue an appeal through representative action. Once this text is implemented, victims of unfair and illegal commercial practices, such as the false advertising during the Dieselgate scandal, will be able to act together and see their damage repaired.
“The Dieselgate scandal was a turning point for Europe. It is urgent that we better protect consumers. This vote is a major step and a first victory for them. Europe is becoming a shield. I fought to gather a majority around a fair balance: to facilitate access to justice for citizens while giving them new rights, and protect companies while creating safeguards to avoid abusive remedies. These elements must go together,” said rapporteur Geoffroy Didier.
The EPP Group made sure that the new rules will prevent abuses initiated, for example, by competitive firms. “In some countries, large companies resort to specialised law firms only to disrupt their competition. The European text we agreed on will protect us from such abuses seen in American class action suits. The EU is now being responsible. Companies’ reputations should not be sacrificed and we cannot tamper with their economic situation and the numerous jobs they provide!” concluded Didier.