The Competitiveness Council of the European Union adopted on 28 November 2019 a general approach on the Proposal for a Directive on “Representative actions for the protection of the collective interests of consumers”. Ecommerce Europe is particularly worried about the Council’s text as it represents a significant shift from the original proposal of the European Commission that could pave the way to “forum shopping” with complainants looking for more favorable jurisdictions.
Ecommerce Europe is concerned that the Council’s main intent of keeping existing national systems largely unaffected will ultimately not serve consumers’ interest. In other words, we believe that the text creates a serious loophole to avoid EU safeguards for Qualified Entities.
Ensuring common minimum standards for representative entities is fundamental to the effectiveness and trust in a collective redress system, and Ecommerce Europe supports an effective, harmonized and proportionate system that the Council’s text will not achieve, in our opinion. Our concerns are further elaborated in a joint statement published on 12 November together with several other industry organizations that share the same views.
The European Parliament already adopted its position on the proposal in March 2019, which means that trialogues will start soon, probably at the beginning of 2020 under the Croatian Presidency of the Council.