EC Publishes “New Deal for Consumers” Package


The European Commission (“EC“) has published its “New Deal for Consumers” package. The package comprises 16 documents, some yet to be published.

The initiative is composed of two proposals for Directives:

A proposal for a Directive on better enforcement and modernisation of EU consumer protection rules (2018/0090 (COD)). This will amend the Unfair Contract Terms Directive (93/13/EEC), the Consumer Price Indications Directive (98/6/EC), the Unfair Commercial Practices Directive (2005/29/EC) and the Consumer Rights Directive (2011/83/EU). This proposal’s aim is to ensure better enforcement and to modernise EU consumer protection rules, in particular in the light of digital developments.

A proposal for a Directive on representative actions for the protection of the collective interests of consumers (2018/0089 (COD)), dealing with representative actions for the protection of the collective interests of consumers, and repealing the Injunctions Directive (2009/22/EC). This proposal’s aim is to improve the tools for stopping illegal practices and facilitating redress for consumers whose rights have been infringed.

The main themes are improved enforcement measures, better protection for online consumers, and EU harmonisation:

  • The proposals will, among other things, empower qualified entities to launch representative actions on behalf of consumers and introduce stronger sanctioning powers for member state consumer authorities.
  • There will be greater online protection for consumers in the form of new disclosure rules concerning the identity of traders and the existence of paid advertisements. In addition, consumers will have similar rights in respect of “free” digital services as they do in respect of paid services, such as information rights and the right to cancel within 14 days. (The latter measures are directed at digital services for which consumers provide their personal data, but do not pay with money, such as cloud storage services, social media or email accounts.)
  • The new regime will also deal with the practice of offering products of differing quality but in the same format within different member states.

The next step is for the Commission’s proposals to be discussed by the European Parliament and the Council.