The Injunctions Directive 2009/22/EC ensures the protection of the collective interests of consumers across the EU. It provides that all EU countries have in place a mechanism for an injunction actions to stop or to prohibit traders’ unlawful practices as prohibited by EU rules enumerated in Annex I of the Directive.
Such actions for injunction can be brought by qualified entities, in particular consumer organisations and/or independent public bodies, before national courts or administrative authorities. Qualified entities may bring actions in the countries of their designation or, if designated for that purpose, they can also bring actions in another EU country where the infringement originated.
Please see below the list of qualified entities designated by EU countries to bring actions for an injunction in other EU countries where the infringement originated.
In particular, qualified entities can bring an action for injunction to stop or prohibit infringement by traders of consumer rights provided by the following EU consumer Directives:
- Consumer rights directive
- Consumer Credit
- Package travel directive
- Unfair commercial practices directive
- Unfair contract terms directive
- Consumer sales and guarantees
Representative Actions Directive
Starting from 25 June 2023, the Injunctions Directive will be repealed and replaced by Directive (EU) 2020/1828 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 November 2020 on representative actions for the protection of the collective interests of consumers. It was part of the Review of EU consumer law. Member States have to implement the Representative Actions Directive by December 2022 and apply it as of June 2023.
Representative actions are the legal actions brought by qualified entities (such as consumer protection organisation) before national courts or administrative authorities on behalf of groups of consumers to seek injunctive measures, in order to stop or prohibit trader’s unlawful practices, to seek redress measures in order to remedy the damage suffered by consumers, or to seek both injunctive and redress measures.
Multi-stakeholder workshop on the implementation of the Representative Actions Directive
On 26 November 2021 the European Commission Directorate General for Justice and Consumers organised an online workshop to discuss the implementation of the Representative Actions Directive (EU) 2020/1828.
The workshop brought together a diverse group of experts from the EU and from around the world comprising members of consumer and business organisations, representatives of EU countries, academics and practitioners who have experience with collective redress actions. Experts shared valuable insights on how the Representative Actions Directive could be most effectively implemented by EU countries.
The following topics, essential for the effectiveness of representative actions were discussed within three breakout sessions:
- Criteria for designating the qualified entities and admissibility of actions;
- The funding of actions and public assistance to qualified entities;
- Consumer information, consumer participation in redress actions and distribution of redress among consumers (including the use of IT tools).