Speaking at a conference in the European Parliament on collective redress, S&D MEPs urged the European Council and right-wing MEPs not to back down on proposals to allow EU consumers to bring lawsuits collectively against large companies.
S&D spokesperson for the collective redress proposal in the legal affairs committee, Mady Delvaux, said:
“Over the last few years, we have seen a series of scandals involving large companies that have affected millions of consumers. The Dieselgate scandal affected hundreds of thousands of Europeans but whereas their American counterparts received large amounts of compensation, EU citizens received nothing. Millions of Facebook users’ data has been misused but again these people have no easy legal recourse in the EU.
“We were pleased that the European Commission came forward with proposals to correct this situation earlier this year. The Parliament now needs to strengthen these proposals. For this we need to act swiftly to make it in time before the next elections. However, we have received worrying signals that big business are successfully lobbying to delay the start of the proceedings and trying every way they can to stop this proposal from seeing the light of day. We urge right-wing MEPs to join us and stand up for EU citizens, not give in to the demands of big business to water down this file.”
S&D spokesperson for the file in the internal market and consumer protection committee, Virginie Rozière, added:
“Consumers in the US affected by the Dieselgate scandal were quickly offered good levels of compensation, as well as a refund or an engine refund. In Europe, consumers have been short-changed – with painfully slow replacements or upgrades and not a cent of compensation. The difference is that effected US customers were able to bring a lawsuit collectively against the Volkswagen, while EU consumers were not.
“We pushed the European Commission to come forward with proposals and will now do everything in our power to stop lobbyists from big businesses watering these down.”