DIGITALEUROPE calls for further harmonisation of collective redress mechanisms in Europe
On 11 April, the European Commission released its New Deal for Consumers package, which includes a proposal for a Directive on representative actions. DIGITALEUROPE welcomes the Commission’s efforts to improve consumers’ access to justice through further harmonisation and unification of EU consumer enforcement law. DIGITALEUROPE recognises the need to equip European consumers with costs effective and easy means of redress and by no means does it aim at challenging the existence of representative actions across Europe.
Unfortunately, DIGITALEUROPE regrets that many of the Commission’s own safeguards set out in its own 2013 Recommendation to Member States have been omitted. These include the capacity and expertise of qualified entities, admissibility standards, and loser pays principle, limitations on contingency fees, the necessity of the “opt-in” principle, and a ban on punitive damages. Our membership believes that the proposed Directive will fail at establishing a coherent and harmonised set of rules for collective redress, further fragmenting the internal market, missing an opportunity to improve legal certainty for consumers and businesses, as well as opening the door to abusive US-style litigation.