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Consumers (09-11-2012)

Consumer Affairs – Injunctions are a useful tool to protect consumers

Brussels , 9 November 2012

Under the EU Directive on injunctions, public authorities and consumer organisations can go to court and request that a trader ends practices that breach consumer protection rules. The report on the application of that directive published this week by the Commission shows that more than 5000 actions for injunction were lodged since 2008. Most of them aimed against the sectors of telecommunications, banking and investments, tourism and package travels and dealt with unfair contract terms, unfair commercial practices and misleading advertisement.

The report concluded that injunctions are a useful tool for the protection of the collective interests of consumers, although their potential is not always fully exploited due to a number of issues (e.g high financial costs for complaining parties , length and complexity of the procedure in court ...) The Commission, together with Member States, will further assess how best to address these issues.