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Letter |

Right to repair

MEPs and organisations address a letter to Vice-Presidents and Commissioner

 

Margrethe Vestager, Executive Vice-President “A Europe Fit for the Digital Age”
Frans Timmermans, Executive Vice-President “European Green Deal”
Věra Jourová, Executive Vice-President “Values and Transparency”
Didier Reynders, Commissioner for Justice


Raw materials used in ICT are non-renewable. The stock of mineral and metals is limited, unequally accessible on the planet. While Europe’s economic system relies heavily on the exploitation of resources beyond the limits of our planet, e-waste is the fastest growing mountain of waste in the world. This linear economy fuels the climate crisis and leads to environmental destruction and human rights violations in raw material extraction while making our supply chains vulnerable to crises. Increasing our resource needs to manufacture new tech devices means increasing the EU’s dependence on these critical raw materials, as well as contributing to their depletion.

To develop a more sustainable use of digital technologies, we must view the multiple environmental, economic and social benefits circular economy offers us. The European Commission must accelerate the transition to a circular economy by delivering on its promises to publish a right to repair initiative by 22nd March.

Ensuring that Europe develops a right to repair will ultimately contribute to reinforcing the EU’s position on the raw material market. Developing e-waste repair and reuse into an efficient, mature sector is not only an environmental but also a geostrategic issue. This is why the we strongly believe the upcoming legislative right to repair initiative will only manage to extend the lifetime of existing ICT devices, slowing down the e-waste stream and resource consumption, if it:

  1. implements a repair score based on five repairability criteria: ease of disassembly, repair documentation, availability of spare parts and delivery time, product-specific aspects and price of spare parts (as supported by several Member states, such as France (1), Belgium (2) and Spain (3), as well as 11,591 citizens across Europe (4),

  2. provides financial incentives for the repair of devices through extended producer responsibility schemes and other means. Financial incentives are needed to ensure the affordability of repair. National policy examples, like the repair bonuses in Austria and Germany or tax breaks on repair in Sweden, should serve as inspiration for EU level policies that will lead to the prevention of large amounts of waste. The newly launched repair fund in France also represents a good example of how this could work. The French repair fund makes repair more accessible via financial aid which is directly discounted from the consumer’s bill. It is financed through Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) fees paid by producers and managed by French eco-organisations (who receive these fees). Consumers will receive a significant reduction (around 20%) of their repair bill, which will apply to all out-of-warranty repairs for eligible products,

  3. transforms the legal guarantee of conformity into a lifespan guarantee under the Sales of Goods directive (as detailed in the DG IPOL study ‘How an EU Lifespan Guarantee Model Could Be Implemented Across the European Union’), ensuring that the duration of such a guarantee matches the expected technical lifetime of products, and enabling both authorised and independent repairers to perform repairs during the period covered by the guarantee. The priority of repair over replacement under guarantee should be legally embedded, and where replacement is inevitable, the possibility of a replacement with a refurbished item should be offered to consumers,

  4. Ensures affordable access to spare parts within a reasonable time and at a reasonable cost, for a period corresponding to at least the expected lifespan of the product. To achieve this, recognition of second hand and third party spare parts must be ensured, as well as measures to stop manufacturers from overpricing spare parts. Studies show that to effectively reduce the replacement and discard of electronic appliances, the cost of repair shouldn’t exceed one third of the cost of buying a new device. In this sense, the practice of hindering the replacement of parts via software part-pairing should be banned for all components and product categories,

  5. provides the necessary repair and maintenance information free of charge, including diagnostic tools, software and updates, for all players in the repair sector, including independent workshops and end-users. It should also ensure that software designs and operating systems do not prevent consumers from exercising their right to repair,

  6. adopts minimum targets for reusable, repairable and resource efficient products and services in public procurement rules.

The above-mentioned demands are in line with the resolution on the right to repair adopted by the European Parliament in plenary on 7 April 2022 (2022/2515(RSP)). We therefore urgently ask you to come forward with an ambitious and fit-for-purpose right to repair initiative on 22nd March 2023 to facilitate our transition towards a more circular economy. As only a consumer-friendly design will ultimately lead to more repairs, the right to repair must become a prime example of how high consumer protection standards and climate protection go hand in hand.

 

Yours Sincerely,

 

Members of the European Parliament:

  30. MEP Erik Marquardt (Germany)
1. MEP Malte Gallée (Germany) 31. MEP Alice Bah Kuhnke (Sweden)
2. MEP Sara Matthieu (Belgium) 32. MEP Pär Holmgren (Sweden)
3. MEP David Cormand (France) 33. MEP Jakop Dalunde (Sweden)
4. MEP Anna Cavazzini (Germany) 34. MEP Katrin Langensiepen (Germany)
5. MEP Niklas Nienaß (Germany) 35. MEP Heidi Hautala (Finland)
6. MEP Delara Burkhardt (Germany) 36. MEP Philippe Lamberts (Belgium)
7. MEP Pierre Larrouturou (France) 37. MEP Tiziana Beghin (Italy)
8. MEP Jutta Paulus (Germany) 38. MEP Tilly Metz (Luxembourg)
9. MEP Grace O’Sullivan (Ireland) 39. MEP Anne-Sophie Pelletier (France)
10. MEP Viktor Uspaskich (Lithuania) 40. MEP Cyrus Engerer (Malta)
11. MEP Francisco Guerreiro (Portugal) 41. MEP Ivan Vilibor Sincic (Croatia)
12. MEP Karen Melchior (Denmark) 42. MEP Reinhard Hans Bütikofer (Germany)
13. MEP Daniel Freund (Germany) 43. MEP Bronis Ropė (Lithuania)
14. MEP María Eugenia Rodríguez Palop (Spain) 44. MEP Ville Niinistö (Finland)
15. MEP Ernest Urtasun (Spain) 45. MEP Diana Riba I Giner (Spain)
16. MEP Pascal Durand (France) 46. MEP Karima Delli (France)
17. MEP Sarah Wiener (Austria) 47. MEP Rasmus Andresen (Germany)
18. MEP Ciarán Cuffe (Ireland) 48. MEP Margrete Auken (Denmark)
19. MEP Rosa D’Amato (Italy) 49. MEP Kira Marie Peter-Hansen (Denmark)
20. MEP René Repasi (Germany) 50. MEP Manon Aubry (France)
21. MEP Petros Kokkalis (Greece) 51. MEP Anna Deparnay-Grueneberg (Germany)
22. MEP Thomas Waitz (Austria) 52. MEP Manu Pineda (Spain)
23. MEP Michael Bloss (Germany) 53. MEP Patrizia Toia (Italy)
24. MEP Dan-Stefan Motreanu (Romania) 54. MEP Monika Beňová (Slovakia)
25. MEP Kim van Sparrentak (Netherlands) 55. MEP Bas Eickhout (Netherlands)
26. MEP Manuela Ripa (Spain) 56. MEP Helmut Scholz (Germany)
27. MEP Martin Buschmann (Germany) 57. MEP Anja Hazekamp (Netherlands)
28. MEP Patrick Breyer (Germany) 58. MEP Henrike Hahn (Germany)
29. MEP Jordi Solé (Spain)                59. MEP Fabio Massimo Castaldo (Italy)

 

European organisations:
- Signed by 100 organisations members of the Right to Repair campaign:

Austria:
● Association for Waste Prevention
● Refurbed
● Repanet
● Reparatur Netzwerk
● Revolve Circular


Belgium:
● Aegee Europe
● Catapa
● Circular Brussels
● Cero
● De Transformisten
● Ecos
● EEB
● Free ICT Europe
● Generation Climate Europe
● Justice et Paix
● Pronto Fix
● Relaks
● Repair & Share
● Repair Together
● Rreuse
● Tournevie


Denmark:
● Fair Denmark
● Prosa
● Repair Café Denmark


Estonia:
● K-Space
● Paranda

 

France:
● Backmarket
● Coben
● Ethikis ad Civis
● HOP
● Repair Café France
● Spareka
● Zero Waste France


Germany:
● Anstiftung
● DNR Europe
● GermanWatch
● Ifixit
● Netzwerk Reparatur Initiativen
● Runder Tisch Reparatur


Greece:
● Epanekkinis


Hungary:
● Friends of the Earth Hungary


Ireland:
● Community Resource Network Ireland
● Cycle Sense
● Rediscovery Center
● The Useless Project


Italy:
● Giacimenti Urban


Iceland:
● Reykjavik Tool Library

 

Luxembourg:
● Mouvement Ecologique
● Oekozenter Padenfall


Netherlands:
● 4Phones
● Captain Mac
● Minicopters Dji Repair
● Mobile Parts
● Natuur & Milieu
● Repair Café International


Norway:
● Ava Norway
● Friends of the Earth Norway
● Restarters Norway
● Sustainability & Design Lab


Poland:
● Quickfix
● Zero Waste Poland


Portugal:
● Lipor
● Repair Café Lisboa


Slovakia:
● Repairably Slovenia
● Pirate Party Slovenia


Sweden:
● Ereuse
● Setem Sweden:
● Repair Café Malmö


Switzerland:
● Thingsy
● Repair Café Fribourg


United Kingdom:
● Association of Heritage Engineers
● Community Resource Network Scotland
● Hello Klyk
● Hex
● Green Alliance
● My Mac Fixer
● Nesta
● Nottingham Fixers
● Remade Network
● Repair Café Tunbridge
● Southampton Repair Café
● Studio Steer
● Technical in Nature
● The Restart Project
● Transition Chesterfield
● Watlington Climate Action Group

 

Co-signed by five additional organisations:

● iFix-iPhone.com
● Refurbed
● Federation ENVIE
● Enjoy Ricondizionati
● RCube - Federation of French companies active in the Reuse/Reduce/Repair sectors and covering a
very wide range of products and services (such as smartphones, computers, tyres, toys, electronics
and bicycles) with the following members:

 

  1. Article 16-I of the law n° 2020-105 of February 10, 2020, against waste and for the circular economy
  2. https://khattabi.belgium.be/en/pr-zakia-khattabi-introduces-law-forcing-manufacturers-and-sellers-inform-consumers-about
  3. https://www.lamoncloa.gob.es/lang/en/gobierno/news/Paginas/2021/20210315reparability-label.aspx
  4. https://act.greens-efa.eu/fixit

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Attached documents

Letter on right to repair

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