EU framework for collective redress

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Opinia EKES-u: EU framework for collective redress

Key points

The EESC:

  • welcomes the fact that the European Commission has finally seized the initiative for a European framework for collective redress, though it regrets that the Commission has not issued a proposal for a directive;
  • recognises the efforts of the Commission to guarantee the fundamental procedural rights of the parties and prevent abuse, as well as its desire to provide for both injunctive and compensatory collective actions;
  • welcomes the Commission's rejection of a US-style class action, including contingency fees for lawyers that create an incentive for litigation, as well as punitive damages;    
  • endorses the Commission's view that individuals should have the right to opt in to a group action, though it can also envisage circumstances in which an opt-out procedure would have its advantages; recommends a central European register of actions to provide information for potential claimants;
  • welcomes the approach of providing for an out-of-court dispute resolution procedure as a complementary instrument that parties can opt for and of giving the judge a remit to encourage out-of-court settlement; recommends that specific conflict rules be instituted for collective redress actions:
  • provisions regarding the funding of collective legal protection should be expanded and the financial risk for non-profit organisations must be made clear.

Other relevant EESC opinions: