November 23, 2020
The results of a vote on the Right to Repair on a recent proposal by the European Parliaments Internal Market Committee (IMC) to grant consumers a “right to repair”.
The IMC proposed a series of measures to strengthen consumer protection and enhance product safety and sustainability. The MEPs call on the Commission to grant consumers a “right to repair” by making repairs more appealing, systematic, and cost-efficient.
To support second-hand goods markets and promote more sustainable production practices, the IMC asked the Commission to consider labelling products and services according to their durability (e.g. a usage meter and clear information on the estimated lifespan of a product).
According to Eurobarometer, 77% of EU citizens would rather repair their devices than replace them and 79% think that manufacturers should be required to make it easier to repair digital devices or replace their individual parts.
MEPs also push for more sustainable public procurement as well as responsible marketing and advertising that encourages sustainable business and consumer choices. This should include clear guidelines for products that claim to be environmentally friendly, assisted by further ecolabel certification. For example, when green claims are made in advertisements, common criteria should be followed to support the claim.
In addition, the report proposes new rules for waste management, including the removal of legal obstacles that prevent repair, resale and reuse. This will also benefit the secondary raw material market.
In another approved resolution on product safety in the European Single Market MEPs addressed the issue of unsafe products – particularly those sold on online marketplaces. This includes products that contain dangerous chemicals, have unsafe software, or pose other safety hazards.
MEPs want online platforms and marketplaces to take proactive measures to tackle misleading practices and demand that EU rules on product safety should be enforced robustly. They emphasise that compliance with product safety rules must be ensured, for products circulating in the EU and manufactured either in the EU or outside it, allowing a fair competition between companies and securing reliable product information for consumers.
Editor’s Opinion: A stronger right of repair would be welcome to achieve European ambitions of the green agenda. But the Brussels scuttlebutt is that the EU Commission is on the one hand standing firm on defending to end of the throwaway culture but is silently giving a nod to those who refuse to adapt to the much-needed change.
Categories : World Focus