On 24 November 2020, the European Parliament approved the ‘Directive on representative actions for the protection of the collective interests of consumers’. Directive (EU) 2020/1828 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 November 2020 on representative actions for the protection of the collective interests of consumers and repealing … Continue reading The Directive is part of the New Deal for Consumers aimed at strengthening European consumer rights and their enforcement. This covers rights arising from European regulations and directives on matters such as unfair commercial practices, tourism, product safety, energy, financial services, telecommunications, product liability and data protection.
Member States have from 24 December 2020 until 25 December 2022 at the latest to adapt their legislation insofar as they do not yet comply with the Directive. The new national provisions should then be applied as from 25 June 2023 to representative actions brought on or after 25 June 2023.
Member States must provide for an opt-in or opt-out mechanism, or a combination of the two. They must also ensure that individual consumers who are not habitually resident in the Member State of the court or administrative authority before which a representative action has been brought are required to explicitly agree to be represented in that representative action. This means that an opt-in mechanism must in any event apply to consumers in this category.
Furthermore, Member States have to designate competent authorities that can institute representative actions. Member States are also required to ensure that representative actions can be brought before their District Courts or administrative authorities by competent authorities designated in another Member State for such representative actions.