Today, the majority of the members of the Legal Affairs Committee today voted in favour of greater consumer protection and for the possibility of EU-wide class action law suits. Representative entities, such as consumer organisations, will be able to bring collective redress before the courts if infringements affect people in several EU countries.
Volkswagen, Facebook and Ryanair could all be sued for emissions scandals, invasions of privacy and massive flight cancellations, with potential fines running into billions. The European Commission's package for a New Deal for Consumers follows a Green/EFA group's request in the European Parliament.
Heidi Hautala, spokesperson on legal affairs for the Greens/EFA group in the European Parliament, comments:
"The Dieselgate scandal showed how people in different parts of Europe face unequal situations when it comes to their rights to act against corporate crimes. Companies cannot be allowed to run riot over peoples' rights by taking advantage of different legal regimes. Despite massive pressure from lobbyists and a majority of the EPP group, we have managed to achieve greater consumer rights for all people of the EU, so that they can be better protected against wrong doing by companies."
Julia Reda, spokeswoman on consumer protection policy for the Greens/EFA Group in the European Parliament, comments:
"Strong consumer rights will help put the likes of Volkswagen, Facebook and co. in their place. Today the European Parliament is sending a message to companies that breaking the law and fraudulent practices are not a business model which will be tolerated in the EU. It's great news that we have also included in the report class actions against Facebook for violations of privacy to be possible for people who do not use the social network but who may have been affected by their actions."