This document is an excerpt from the EUR-Lex website
It empowers organisations or public bodies designated by EU countries to seek injunctive or redress measures on behalf of groups of consumers through representative actions (including cross-border representative actions). This includes seeking compensation from traders who infringe consumer rights in areas such as financial services, travel and tourism, energy, health, telecommunications and data protection, as appropriate and available under EU or national law.
Since both judicial and administrative procedures may effectively and efficiently serve the protection of the collective interests of consumers, it is left to EU countries’ discretion as to whether the representative action can be brought in judicial or administrative proceedings, or both, depending on the relevant area of law or relevant economic sector.
EU countries designate the entities that will be enabled to bring representative actions on behalf of consumers (qualified entities).
In order to be enabled to bring the representative actions in an EU country other than the one of their designation (cross-border actions), the qualified entities must:
EU countries may also apply the abovementioned obligations to the qualified entities designated in advance and enabled to bring domestic actions (in the EU country of their designation). EU countries may also designate qualified entities on an ad hoc basis for the purpose of bringing a particular domestic representative action.
The European Commission publishes the list of qualified entities designated for cross-border actions on an online portal, updated as necessary.
An injunctive measure is a provisional or definitive measure to cease or prohibit a practice. Both could be used to stop an existing practice or prohibit an imminent practice. It could also include (depending on national law) an obligation to publish the court’s decision or a corrective statement.
The qualified entity does not have to prove actual loss or damage by individual consumers affected by the infringement, or intent or negligence affected by the trader.
A redress measure requires a trader to provide remedies such as compensation, repair, replacement, price reduction, contract termination or reimbursement of the price paid, as appropriate and available under EU or national law.
EU countries ensure that:
These remedies are without prejudice to any additional remedies that are not the subject of the representative action.
To avoid a conflict of interest where redress funding is provided by a third party, EU countries that allow that type of funding must ensure, in particular, that:
EU countries must ensure that:
Costs of the proceedings
EU countries must:
It entered into force on 24 December 2020. It has to apply in the EU countries as of 25 June 2023.
The directive is part of the 'new deal for consumers' package.
For more information, see:
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 Directive 2009/22/EC (OJ L 409, 4.12.2020, pp. 1-27)
last update 03.02.2021