Consumer Law Developments
Over the past 5 years, the EU has launched several legislative initiatives aimed at revamping EU consumers protection laws. One such initiative was the “New Deal for Consumers” adopted by the European Commission on April 11, 2018. The New Deal for Consumers amends existing EU consumer legislation in order to, on the one hand, strengthen the enforcement of the rules in light of a growing risk of EU-wide infringements and, on the other hand, modernize these rules to address more recent market developments (see here). Among other things, this update included changes to the enforcement regime, to ensure greater harmonization and allow for the possibility of higher fines (i.e., up to 4% of a trader’s annual turnover in the Member State(s) where the breach occurred).
On November 13, 2020, the European Commission launched another initiative in this space – the so-called “New Consumer Agenda” (see here) – that sets out an updated strategic framework for EU consumer policy. Similar to the New Deal for Consumers, the New Consumer Agenda aims to not only modernize and strengthen the enforcement of existing EU consumer law, but also at tackle new challenges to consumer rights brought about by the EU’s green and digital strategies, the COVID pandemic, and plans for post-COVID recovery.
Finally, the European Commission has also launched several other consumer-related legislative initiatives, such as a new proposal to repeal and replace the 2008 Consumer Credit Directive (see here).
Consumer Law Webinars
On December 7, 2021, Covington hosted the third and final webinar in its series dedicated to the latest EU policy developments in the area of consumer law. This final webinar in the series focused on conformity standards and safety requirements for certain products and services, namely the:
- Sales of Goods Directive (2019, replaced previous Directive from 1999);
- Digital Content and Services Directive (2019);
- Liability for Defective Products Directive (1985, amended in 1999, and under review);
- Upcoming New EU Product Safety Regulation; and
- Market Surveillance and Compliance of Products Regulation (2019).
You can access the webinar here. The first and second part of the series are also available on demand, here and here. They focus on the EU’s New Deal for Consumers and the enforcement of consumer law in Europe, respectively.