European Union

Collective Redress in the European Union

Collective redress or ‘class action’ models are proliferating across the European Union (EU), with a vast majority of Member States now having, or about to have, at least one national collective redress mechanism available for consumers. 

The EU Directive on Collective Actions

In addition to this emerging patchwork of national collective redress schemes, in 2018, the European Commission proposed a Directive on representative actions for the protection of the collective interests of consumers. The Directive provides for a new system of collective redress which is layered “on top of” existing national systems and does not replace any of the existing collective redress systems.

In June 2020, after two years of deliberations, a compromise text for the Directive was agreed, including amendments from the European Parliament and Council of the European Union.

The compromise text is awaiting adoption by the full European Parliament in the fall of 2020. Once the Directive is adopted by Parliament and transcribed into the Official Journal of the European Union, Member States will have roughly two and half years to implement the Directive.

Member States will have considerable flexibility in deciding how to transpose the Directive into their national laws. While this will be an opportunity to include additional safeguards and close some loopholes, it is also a risk. Some Member States may be tempted to include features that will encourage a culture of litigation.

For more information about the directive, please find ILR’s detailed analysis here.

For further information regarding ILR's positions and engagement on this proposal, please consult the Fair Deal for Consumers website