30

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Domaine politique
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Representative actions to protect the collective interests of consumers: A new deal for consumers

20-01-2020

On 11 April 2018, the European Commission published a proposal for a new directive on representative actions for the protection of the collective interests of consumers. Currently, consumer organisations or independent public bodies can bring actions in the name of consumers in courts or before administrative authorities to stop infringements of consumer legislation. According to the proposal, they would be able to demand compensation for consumers as well. The European Parliament adopted its first-reading ...

On 11 April 2018, the European Commission published a proposal for a new directive on representative actions for the protection of the collective interests of consumers. Currently, consumer organisations or independent public bodies can bring actions in the name of consumers in courts or before administrative authorities to stop infringements of consumer legislation. According to the proposal, they would be able to demand compensation for consumers as well. The European Parliament adopted its first-reading position on 26 March 2019. It added safeguards to protect companies against abusive litigation, and deleted a precondition that consumers should wait for a final injunction order establishing the existence of an infringement before being allowed to demand compensation. The Council adopted its general approach on 28 November 2019 and proposed to distinguish between domestic and cross-border representative actions. Member States would decide the criteria for designation of qualified entities for domestic actions by themselves, while the criteria for cross-border actions would be common across the whole of the EU. Second edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Dual quality of products – State of play

25-11-2019

In recent years, the concern that some branded products might be inferior in the Member States that have joined the European Union (EU) since 2004 has become ever more apparent. This concern has come to be known as the 'dual quality of products'. To address the issue, between 2018 and 2019, the European Commission's Joint Research Service (JRC) compared a set of branded food products sold under the same name and in the same or similar packaging across Member States – the first time a harmonised testing ...

In recent years, the concern that some branded products might be inferior in the Member States that have joined the European Union (EU) since 2004 has become ever more apparent. This concern has come to be known as the 'dual quality of products'. To address the issue, between 2018 and 2019, the European Commission's Joint Research Service (JRC) compared a set of branded food products sold under the same name and in the same or similar packaging across Member States – the first time a harmonised testing methodology has been used to compare products from the whole of the European Union. The analysis sought to determine whether, despite the identical or similar packaging, there were differences in product composition and, if so, whether those differences corresponded to any geographical pattern. Results showed that about one third of the branded food products analysed had a composition that differed from one Member State to another. However, the results did not point to any geographical pattern that might explain those differences. In 2017, the Commission had already sought to clarify the relevant legislation with a notice introducing a test that national consumer protection authorities could use to determine on a case by case basis whether the dual quality of food products was misleading. Later, in April 2018, in the framework of the 'new deal for consumers', its proposal for a new directive on modernisation of EU consumer protection rules sought to include the dual quality of products (not just of food products) in the Unfair Commercial Practices Directive. The European Parliament has long voiced its concerns about the dual quality of products and had called for it to be added to the 'blacklist' of practices that should always be considered as banned. However, the text of the new directive on modernisation of consumer protection rules as adopted by the co-legislators did not include dual quality as a practice that must be considered unfair in all cases, but rather as one that must be proven to be misleading on a case-by-case basis. The European Consumer Organisation (BEUC) has criticised this, while business organisations defend the right of companies to differentiate their products in different markets.

Consumers and repair of products

17-09-2019

Repairing broken or damaged products can save consumers money by helping them postpone making replacement purchases, while also bringing benefits to the environment through lower waste production and use of resources. The EU's circular economy strategy considers maintenance and repair to be important ways of both keeping resources from being thrown away and of prolonging the lifespan of products. A 2018 European Commission behavioural study on consumer engagement in the circular economy showed that ...

Repairing broken or damaged products can save consumers money by helping them postpone making replacement purchases, while also bringing benefits to the environment through lower waste production and use of resources. The EU's circular economy strategy considers maintenance and repair to be important ways of both keeping resources from being thrown away and of prolonging the lifespan of products. A 2018 European Commission behavioural study on consumer engagement in the circular economy showed that 64 % of consumers always repair broken or damaged products. The top reason for not repairing products was the high price of repair, followed by the preference to get a new product and the feeling that the old product was obsolete or out of fashion. As for repairers, especially independent ones, they often complain about having no access to original spare parts, technical information, diagnostic software and training, as manufacturers sometimes limit these to their own after-sales services or to recognised repairers of a specific brand. EU consumer legislation regulates the right of consumers to have products repaired within the legal guarantee period, but not beyond its expiry or for defects not covered by the guarantee. Efforts to ensure access to repair are also included in EU environmental and product legislation. The upcoming ecodesign requirements for TV screens, refrigerators, lighting, household washing machines and dishwashers are expected to ensure that independent repairers have access to spare parts and repair information. The European Parliament has called for extending the ecodesign requirements to non-energy related products, including the reparability of products, more systematically in ecodesign legislation, and extending the duration of legal guarantees. Similar calls have come from a range of stakeholders.

Les politiques de l’Union – Au service des citoyens: Protéger les consommateurs européens

28-06-2019

Les règles de protection des consommateurs ont amélioré les droits des consommateurs dans l’Union européenne depuis les années 1970. Bien que le niveau de protection est aujourd’hui considéré comme l’un des plus élevés au monde, les consommateurs de l’Union européenne rencontrent tout de même certains problèmes. Selon les dernières statistiques disponibles, en2016, un consommateur sur cinq déclarait avoir eu une raison de se plaindre au cours des douze derniers mois, un chiffre largement inchangé ...

Les règles de protection des consommateurs ont amélioré les droits des consommateurs dans l’Union européenne depuis les années 1970. Bien que le niveau de protection est aujourd’hui considéré comme l’un des plus élevés au monde, les consommateurs de l’Union européenne rencontrent tout de même certains problèmes. Selon les dernières statistiques disponibles, en2016, un consommateur sur cinq déclarait avoir eu une raison de se plaindre au cours des douze derniers mois, un chiffre largement inchangé depuis 2008. Depuis 2014, des efforts sont menés dans un certain nombre de domaines, y compris le renforcement de la coopération transfrontalière entre les autorités nationales chargées de la protection des consommateurs et de la surveillance du marché. En avril 2018, la Commission a notamment proposé une «nouvelle donne pour les consommateurs» afin de permettre l’adoption d’actions juridiques représentatives pour la protection des intérêts communs des consommateurs et la modernisation des règles de protection des consommateurs à l’échelle de l’Union. Les efforts par secteur comprenaient: la suppression des frais d’itinérance dans l’Union en 2017; l’adoption d’une législation visant à favoriser la participation des consommateurs au marché unique numérique; l’adoption de réformes sur les règles relatives à la protection de la vie privée et à la protection des données; le renforcement des droits des consommateurs d’énergie et des passagers; la mise en œuvre d’actions visant à lutter contre le «double niveau de qualité» des produits alimentaires de marque. Le budget de l’Union accordé à la protection des consommateurs est relativement faible car, même si les règles dans ce domaine sont définies à l’échelle de l’Union, leur mise en œuvre et exécution relèvent des États membres. Le programme «Consommateurs» dispose d’un budget de 188 millions d’EUR pour la période 2013-2020, soit à peine 0,05 € par citoyen et par an. Alors que la protection des consommateurs devient une partie intégrante d’un programme de marché unique élargi, ce qui devrait d’ailleurs créer des synergies entre ses différentes composantes, ce budget pourrait être réévalué dans le nouveau cadre financier pluriannuel. Les mesures à venir pourraient se concentrer sur l’allongement de la durée de vie des produits, les exigences en matière d’étiquetage et de qualité pour les produits non agricoles et industriels, l’adoption d’un étiquetage alimentaire plus équitable et des services financiers de détail plus justes. Le présent document est une mise à jour d’une note publiée avant les élections européennes de 2019.

Modernisation of EU consumer protection rules: A new deal for consumers

15-04-2019

On 11 April 2018, the European Commission adopted a proposal for a directive on better enforcement and modernisation of EU consumer protection rules, as part of its 'new deal for consumers' package of measures. The proposal followed a fitness check of consumer legislation and an evaluation of the Consumer Rights Directive showed that the EU consumer legislation is fit for purpose, but could benefit from certain aspects being clarified and brought into line with the reality of the digital economy. ...

On 11 April 2018, the European Commission adopted a proposal for a directive on better enforcement and modernisation of EU consumer protection rules, as part of its 'new deal for consumers' package of measures. The proposal followed a fitness check of consumer legislation and an evaluation of the Consumer Rights Directive showed that the EU consumer legislation is fit for purpose, but could benefit from certain aspects being clarified and brought into line with the reality of the digital economy. The proposal, which would amend four consumer protection directives, focuses on various consumer issues, including penalties for infringements, transparency on online marketplaces, protection for consumers of 'free' digital services, the right of withdrawal and dual quality of products. On 21 March 2019, Parliament and the Council reached provisional agreement on the proposal. The agreement rejects the proposed changes that would weaken the right of withdrawal. It bans several unfair commercial practices in all circumstances, and allows dual quality of products to be declared as misleading on a case-by-case basis. Parliament is expected to vote on the provisional agreement during the April II plenary session. Third edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

General safety of vehicles and protection of vulnerable road users

11-04-2019

As part of the third 'Europe on the move' package of measures, on 27 May 2018, the European Commission presented a proposal for a regulation on type-approval requirements for motor vehicles and their trailers, as regards their general safety and the protection of vehicle occupants and vulnerable road users. The regulation is part of the EU's efforts to halve the number of fatal and serious injuries in road crashes between 2020 and 2030. It would introduce a number of advanced vehicle safety features ...

As part of the third 'Europe on the move' package of measures, on 27 May 2018, the European Commission presented a proposal for a regulation on type-approval requirements for motor vehicles and their trailers, as regards their general safety and the protection of vehicle occupants and vulnerable road users. The regulation is part of the EU's efforts to halve the number of fatal and serious injuries in road crashes between 2020 and 2030. It would introduce a number of advanced vehicle safety features that passenger cars, vans, buses and trucks would have to have as standard equipment in order to be sold on the internal market. It would replace three current type-approval regulations: the General Vehicle Safety Regulation, the Pedestrian Protection Regulation and the Hydrogen-Powered Motor Vehicles Regulation. In March 2019, the European Parliament and the Council reached a provisional agreement on the proposal, that clarifies exact requirements for different safety features and brings forward the deadlines for their mandatory instalment in vehicles. Parliament is expected to vote on it during the April II plenary session.

Strengthening market surveillance of harmonised industrial products

28-03-2019

Harmonised products represent 69 % of the overall value of industrial products in the internal market. However, a significant part of these products does not comply with harmonised EU rules. This has negative effects on the health and safety of consumers, and on fair competition between businesses. To remedy the situation, the Commission proposed, on 19 December 2017, to strengthen market surveillance rules for non-food products harmonised by EU legislation. The proposal for a compliance and enforcement ...

Harmonised products represent 69 % of the overall value of industrial products in the internal market. However, a significant part of these products does not comply with harmonised EU rules. This has negative effects on the health and safety of consumers, and on fair competition between businesses. To remedy the situation, the Commission proposed, on 19 December 2017, to strengthen market surveillance rules for non-food products harmonised by EU legislation. The proposal for a compliance and enforcement regulation would increase EU-level coordination of market surveillance, clarify the procedures for the mutual assistance mechanism, and require non-EU manufacturers to designate a natural or legal person responsible for compliance information. On 7 February 2019, Parliament and Council reached a provisional agreement on the proposal. Parliament is due to vote on that agreement during the April II plenary session. Fourth edition. The ‘EU Legislation in Progress’ briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure. Please note this document has been designed for on-line viewing.

Contracts for the supply of digital content and digital services

21-03-2019

On 29 January 2019, the European Parliament and the Council reached a provisional agreement on the European Commission's proposal for a directive regulating the private-law aspects of contracts for the supply of digital content and digital services in the internal market. The directive would, for the first time, harmonise some aspects of such contracts at EU level. The co-legislators agreed that embedded digital content would not be regulated by this directive, but rather by that on sale of goods ...

On 29 January 2019, the European Parliament and the Council reached a provisional agreement on the European Commission's proposal for a directive regulating the private-law aspects of contracts for the supply of digital content and digital services in the internal market. The directive would, for the first time, harmonise some aspects of such contracts at EU level. The co-legislators agreed that embedded digital content would not be regulated by this directive, but rather by that on sale of goods. They also agreed that the duration of legal guarantees for digital content and services would not be fully harmonised but that national laws should not limit it to less than two years; that for the first year from delivery the burden of proof should be on the supplier; and that traders would be required to provide updates. The directive would also establish what remedies consumers are entitled to and the order in which they can be used. Parliament is expected to vote on the provisional agreement during the March II plenary session. Fifth edition of a briefing originally drafted by Rafał Mańko. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure. To view previous editions of this briefing, please see: PE 614.707 (February 2018).

Actions représentatives dans le domaine de la protection des intérêts collectifs des consommateurs

20-03-2019

Dans une perspective d’amélioration des règles relatives à la protection des consommateurs, la Commission a proposé l’adoption d’une directive relative aux actions représentatives dans le domaine de la protection des intérêts collectifs des consommateurs. Cette proposition, présentée dans le cadre de la «nouvelle donne pour les consommateurs», vise à permettre aux consommateurs dans l’Union tout entière d’entreprendre des actions représentatives pour exiger une compensation des entreprises qui enfreignent ...

Dans une perspective d’amélioration des règles relatives à la protection des consommateurs, la Commission a proposé l’adoption d’une directive relative aux actions représentatives dans le domaine de la protection des intérêts collectifs des consommateurs. Cette proposition, présentée dans le cadre de la «nouvelle donne pour les consommateurs», vise à permettre aux consommateurs dans l’Union tout entière d’entreprendre des actions représentatives pour exiger une compensation des entreprises qui enfreignent leurs droits. Le Parlement européen devrait exprimer sa position en première lecture pendant la session plénière de mars II.

Consumer sale of goods

19-03-2019

On 29 January 2019, the European Parliament and the Council reached a provisional agreement on the Commission proposal for a new directive on the consumer sale of goods. The Commission's original proposal, from 2015, which was intended to lay down rules on online and other distance sales of goods only, was replaced on 31 October 2017 by an amended version. This sought to replace entirely the existing Consumer Sales Directive dating from 1999, and regulate contracts concluded both online and offline ...

On 29 January 2019, the European Parliament and the Council reached a provisional agreement on the Commission proposal for a new directive on the consumer sale of goods. The Commission's original proposal, from 2015, which was intended to lay down rules on online and other distance sales of goods only, was replaced on 31 October 2017 by an amended version. This sought to replace entirely the existing Consumer Sales Directive dating from 1999, and regulate contracts concluded both online and offline. The provisional agreement on the proposal reached between the Parliament and Council would allow Member States to decide on a legal guarantee of longer than two years and extend the period during which it is presumed that the goods were faulty from the start. Parliament is due to vote on the agreement during the March II 2019 plenary. Fourth edition, based on a briefing originally drafted by Rafał Mańko. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure. To view previous versions of this briefing, please see: PE 614.744 (March 2018).

Evénements à venir

21-01-2020
Outlook for the MENA Region: What future for stabilisation and reconstruction?
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