On 11 April 2018, the European Commission presented a proposal which forms part of the ‘New Deal for Consumers’ and envisages new collective legal protection measures against violations of consumer protection legislation. The European Parliament has adopted its position on the proposal for a collective redress Directive on 26 March 2019. Consumers will benefit from the new rules in their everyday life. The proposal would grant qualified organisations such as consumer associations the power to obtain compensation for consumers who have suffered damage as a result of violations of consumer protection laws. This makes it possible to obtain direct compensation for affected consumers if the damage caused in their specific case can be clearly quantified. Examples include standardised compensation for air passengers and mandatory repayments of unlawful bank charges.
In complex cases where the scale of the damage suffered by different individuals varies, binding model rulings – similar to the model case procedure introduced in Germany – will continue to be the appropriate instrument. This initiative is important to ensure that consumers actually benefit directly from European consumer protection legislation. In the event that the relevant legislative process will not be concluded before the end of the current legislative period, vzbv demands that this directive be debated and adopted as a priority in the legislative period from 2019 to 2024.