Development of Consumer Collective Redress in the EU: a Light at the End of the Tunnel?

In: Baltic Yearbook of International Law Online
Ana Vlahek
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The development of collective redress in the EU started in the 1980s and first resulted in adoption of legislation on collective injunctive and declaratory relief for the protection of specific interests, in particular consumer interests, and later focused on expanding the rules in other areas of law as well as accompanying them with rules on collective compensatory redress. As in recent years ever more mass harm cases without a proper procedural framework for tackling them have been detected, the EU has intensified its collective redress regulation activities, in particular with a view to safeguarding consumers’ interests. Although collective redress as such is generally perceived as a common feature of modern European judicial systems, the EU institutions have been tackling how best to regulate it in the European legal environment. They have produced a plethora of rather uncontrollable acts with different effects and scope of application that have introduced different and at times ambiguous definitions and concepts without enough valuable interpretation and insight into the reasons behind them. Referring to insufficient ms reaction to the 2013 Recommendation, in 2018 the Commission drafted a new, binding regime for consumer collective redress that may well require prudent ms that have already introduced compensatory collective redress to amend their recently adopted legislation. The paper presents the development of (consumer) collective redress in the EU by analysing four stages of legislative activity at the EU level and the principles and solutions of the relevant acts adopted within them.

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