One step closer in allowing Europeans to bring lawsuits collectively

EU member states have finally agreed a common position on proposals that would allow EU consumers to bring lawsuits collectively against large companies, a process known as collective redress. Following the decision today in the Competitiveness Council, negotiations with the European Parliament can now begin to finalise new EU rules on collective redress. 

Tiemo Wölken, S&D coordinator for legal affairs, said: 

We are pleased that EU member states have agreed on a way forward in making legal recourse through collective court action in the EU easier. 

“There is more work to be done though. The final rules must make sure that organisations that represent consumers in court are not held back by excessive national rules. As it stands, member states in the Council propose only harmonising rules for organisations that act cross-border, meaning that not all cases of collective redress will enjoy the same rights in different EU countries. It is now up to the European Parliament to take the lead to ensure that we right this wrong in Europe.”

Lara Wolters, S&D negotiator on collective redress, said:

“Following a series of scandals such as Dieselgate and Facebook/Cambridge Analytica which affected millions of European consumers, we are now one step closer to making sure that all EU citizens have access to justice through collective redress. 

“Thanks to our influence on the European Parliament’s position, the S&D Group ensured that consumers will no longer have to wait years to seek redress, but instead will benefit from parallel court action. With our support, cases of redress will be able to be dealt with in parallel to infringement cases. The good news is that member states agree with our approach.

“There is still more progress to be made in making access to justice easier for consumers and the S&Ds will be keeping up the pressure to make this happen.”