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European Parliament’s ECON committee sets position on Action for Damages – Bowles comments Print E-mail
Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Following a tight vote in Brussels yesterday, the European Parliament’s Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee has set its position on the Action for Damages file.

The ECON committee achieved protection for the Commission's leniency programme (the most effective method of cartel detection) while also significantly strengthening consumer rights by ensuring that consumers have better access to documents and lowering the burden of proving that overcharges have been passed on.
 
The ECON committee’s position will be defended by its Chair, Sharon Bowles MEP, in key ‘trialogue’ negotiations with the Commission and the Presidency of the EU in February.
 
Commenting, Ms Bowles said:
 
“This is one of the most important pieces of consumer legislation in this parliamentary mandate, putting a European-wide system in place for consumers to claim damages when harmed by cartels.
 
“MEPs in my committee were between a rock and a hard place yesterday, with too stringent rules on disclosure on the one side and placing an untenable burden of proof on consumers on the other.
 
“I am pleased we have ended up in the best possible place, with the protection of key documents and rules on joint and several liability safeguarding the Commission’s leniency programme, while at the same time setting the right levels for direct and indirect purchasers to show they have been harmed.
 
“Collective redress was voted out but it would not have survived the trialogues. It remains a key priority for legislators across Europe but parallel rules can be put into place allowing for this. We need to get the basics right first.”

(Source - Sharon Bowles Press Release)
 

 

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