Fabian Demicoli

MEPs push EU closer towards collective redress system

System would enable groups of consumers to bring compensation claims against companies – An EU-wide system to enable groups of consumers to bring compensation claims against companies has moved a step closer this week when the European Parliament gives its formal support to the idea – but squabbling between EU officials and member states persists, delaying the introduction of legislation.

MEPs voted following unanimous approval by the Parliament's legal affairs committee, on a report on collective redress drawn up by Klaus-Heiner Lehne, a German centre-right MEP. The European Commission has been dragging its heels on the matter, having launched various consultations involving separate directorates-general dating back to 2008.

However, the intervention of the Parliament and decisions by some member states to delay the introduction of national law, has increased pressure for a formal proposal from the Commission in the coming months.

Joaquín Almunia, the European commissioner for competition, is making the running on the issue, but discussions also involve John Dalli, the commissioner for health and consumer policy, and Viviane Reding, the commissioner for justice, who is less enthusiastic about the idea.

Group compensation

An EU collective redress law would allow groups of consumers to obtain compensation for damages from companies in any member state. About half of EU member states have their own systems, but they differ widely. So-called forum shopping – where litigants choose the jurisdiction where they will most likely win – is commonplace.

There are vast differences between countries, but most national governments have informally suggested that they believe there is a need for EU legislation to create a level playing-field. "Ministries for economic affairs see the need more than ministries of justice, which usually consider their legal system to be supreme," said one EU official. "So not only do attitudes differ from one member state to another, but also within the member states."

What we can do for you










The Malta Chamber of SMEs represents over 7,000 members from over 90 different sectors which in their majority are either small or medium sized companies, and such issues like the one we're experiencing right now, it's important to be united. Malta Chamber of SMEs offers a number of different services tailored to its members' individual requirements' and necessities. These range from general services offered to all members to more individual & bespoke services catered for specific requirements.

A membership with Malta Chamber of SMEs will guarantee that you are constantly updated and informed with different opportunities which will directly benefit your business and help you grow. It also entails you to a number of services which in their majority are free of charge and offered exclusively to its members (in their majority all free of charge).