JOINT STATEMENT - The European Commission’s proposal risks undermining civil justice systems to the detriment of consumers across Europe

The European Justice Forum is joining forces with various business associations to stress key concerns regarding the European Commission’s proposal for a directive on representative actions. Click here to have a look at our joint statement explaining why the Commission’s proposal risks undermining civil justice systems to the detriment of consumers across Europe


EJF position paper - Directive on representative actions for the protection of the collective interests of consumers

The European Justice Forum (EJF) calls on EU institutions to shape a fair, balanced and efficient civil justice system for dealing with mass consumer complaints in Europe. Playing by the rules is a common interest shared by consumers and business.

Click here to access EJF's position paper.


The Commission proposal on collective redress is unbalanced and misses the opportunity of effectively improving consumer's access to justice

Following the release of the New Deal for Consumers package and of the Directive on representative actions for the protection of the collective interests of consumers, Ekkart Kaske, Executive Director of the European Justice Forum, has declared:

“We regard this proposal as being several steps backwards from the position advocated by the European Commission in its own reasonably well-balanced recommendations on collective redress issued in 2013. We are concerned that the new proposal might have been driven more by a political desire to react to the Dieselgate experience, rather than by the principles of Better Regulation adopted by the European Commission.”

 While the European Justice Forum understands and appreciates the efforts of the European Commission to provide answers to consumers who suffer torts, we are deeply concerned with the solution proposed, which tries to find a simplistic solution for a complex problem. We regret to see that the proposal encourages collective actions in court, instead of envisaging this as a last resort and offering better alternatives such as regulatory redress and Alternative Dispute Mechanisms. We are also concerned by the lack of sufficient safeguards included in the proposal, which ignores the very principles enshrined in the 2013 Recommendation. The current proposal does not provide sufficient guarantees on a number of fundamental aspects, including funding, qualified entities and the opt-in principle. We also see a serious risk of forum shopping both between public and private qualified entities and also between different Member States, since the proposal does not provide sufficient harmonisation.

In sum, the current proposal misses an important opportunity to effectively improve consumers' access to justice by providing timely, affordable and efficient out-of-court redress solutions.

We need to have a thoroughly evidence-based approach” – said Mr Kaske, adding that – “EJF is ready to put the Association’s decade-long comparative research experience in assessing collective redress instruments across Europe at the service of the European institutions. In the interest of consumers, let's work together towards a fair, effective and well-balanced collective redress mechanism​”.


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2017 Malcolm Carlisle Memorial Lecture

The 2017 Malcolm Carlisle Memorial Lecture was organised by the Association of British Healthcare Industries (ABHI), co-sponsored by European Justice Forum and MedTech Europe, on 1 June 2017. This year, Professor Christopher Hodges, Professor of Justice Systems at Oxford University and Fellow of Wolfson College, addressed fundamental and significant changes which are due to take place in the next few years concerning the way in which all aspects of regulation are enforced across industry and society at large. He also explained how the application of regulation must become more cooperative between regulator and regulated, how government as part of this trend will seek to recover the cost of regulation in fees, and how business can both minimize its costs and benefit from the new regime. Finally, he outlined a possible role for Industry Associations in supporting an essential element of the new approach of 'self-assurance in regulation'. You can view his full presentation via this link.


European Parliament Legal Affairs committee workshop on common minimum standards in civil procedure

On June 15th 2016 the European Parliament’s Legal Affairs (JURI) Committee held a workshop on common minimum standards in civil procedure in the EU. The meeting was yet another contribution to shaping the future of harmonisation of civil procedures at the EU level. Both the Commission and the Parliament are currently looking at the possibility of establishing a legislative measure containing a set of minimum standards in civil procedure, perhaps following the example of such standards having recently been drafted for criminal procedure. Before any concrete measure is proposed, questions of scope of the constitutional power of the EU to legislate in this area, the scope of the measure, and its potential effects must be addressed.

The June meeting was attended by MEPs, European Commission's official, the ELI (European Law Institute), the ENCJ (European Network of Councils for the Judiciary), the HCCH (The Hague Conference on Private International Law), and scholars (including Professor Burkhard Hess and Professor Neil Andrews). It also included presentation (by Dr Magdalena Tulibacka) of the findings of a Report on the European Added Value of common minimum standards in civil procedure conducted for the Research Service of the European Parliament and the JURI Committee. The Report was written by Dr Tulibacka, with Roland Blomeyer and Margarita Sanz of Blomeyer & Sanz. It addressed the following issues: whether and why action at the EU level may be necessary (comprehensively reviewing the existing common standards in operation in the EU at present, identifying gaps and recommending changes), what powers the EU has to adopt legislation on common minimum standards in civil procedure, and the costs and benefits of EU action. Importantly, the Report set out three different options for EU action on common minimum standards, and proposed that the current limited understanding of ‘matters with cross-border implications’ that define the EU power to legislate in this area be broadened. Thus, ultimately it offered an opportunity to propose EU-wide standards in civil procedure applicable to cross-border as well as domestic litigation.

The Report will form part of the (forthcoming) European Parliament’s legislative initiative report (2015/2084 (INL)) by the MEP Emil Radev (EPP, Bulgaria).

It is clear from the comments and presentations at the meeting that the matter is complex, and the issues of legislative competence, scope, and effects are not yet agreed upon, even between the Commission and the Parliament.

The programme of the meeting, the key presentations, the video streaming of the meeting, are available on the following website:

The Report is available at the following link: