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Planned obsolescence

Round Table Brussels, Belgium


Did you know that when buying a TV, it may be made to die in a few years' time? Bulbs that burn out after a certain time, batteries that run out within a set period are a few examples of "planned obsolescence". The CCMI section of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) held a round table event on "Planned obsolescence" on 17 October 2014. It gathered industrials, trade unions and customers to get a better grasp on this topic.

"The purpose of the conference has been to review the practice of planned obsolescence in Europe. The final goal was to give better information to consumers on the lifetime of the products." explained Mr. Thierry Libaert, EESC rapporteur of the opinion on "sustainable consumption".

In 2013, the EESC adopted an opinion on "Towards more sustainable consumption: industrial product lifetimes and restoring trust through consumer information". This round table had three purposes: evaluate the impact of the opinion on built-in obsolescence, evaluate the tangible results of consumer awareness raising campaigns, and discuss modalities and best practices for product labelling that includes information on expected product lifetimes.

"It is very important to define the whole model of society that we want for the future." added Mr. Pascal Durand, Member of the European Parliament.

"In this context I have the intention to write an initiative report in the European Parliament on the subject of the fight against "planned obsolescence" in Europe to reach a legislative uniform standard."


Our round table was the third public event directly dedicated to the topic. Please check out the following links:

The EESC calls for a total ban on planned obsolescence (Press release)

Madrid declaration


Las nuevas actitudes hacia el consumo y la producción: las mejores prácticas en el ámbito del consumo colaborativo y la obsolescencia planificada - by Mr Alejandro Salcedo Aznal

Conference in Madrid on 25/6/2014: New attitudes towards consumption: Best practices in the domain of built-in obsolescence and collaborative consumption

Hearing in Brussels on 7/5/2013: "Towards more sustainable consumption: industrial product lifetimes and restoring trust through consumer information"

Towards a Circular Economy - " A zero waste programme for Europe"