Response to the proposed transposition of the EU Directive on representative actions
02 June 2021
2 June 2021
Albert Knigge, Huib Lebbing, Isabella Wijnberg and Elselique Hoogervorst responded on Houthoff's behalf to the proposed transposition of the EU Directive on representative actions for consumers ("proposal").The Directive on representative actions for consumers ("Directive") aims to ensure that each Member State offers at least one procedural mechanism for collective actions relating to the infringement of EU consumer law. The collective actions should provide for redress measures, such as compensation and repair, and injunctive measures. The Directive also ensures that 'qualified entities' can bring cross-border actions. A representative organisation must fulfil certain requirements to be designated as 'qualified entity' and to be placed on a list held by the Commission. In principle, being listed proves standing to bring cross-border actions.
In the Netherlands, the Act on collective damages claims ("WAMCA"), that entered into force on 1 January 2020, covers most of the Directive's requirements. The WAMCA will therefore only be modified as necessary in light of the Directive. Most of the modifications will also apply to collective actions that are not brought under the Directive.
Houthoff supports this point of view but suggests that some requirements must be laid down explicitly in the WAMCA, even if they could be assessed under already existing provisions. That would improve the terms of reference for all persons concerned. Houthoff also points out to several problems that can arise from the proposed transposition of the Directive, and therefore requests the legislator to clarify certain aspects of the proposal. In addition, Houthoff suggests some modifications in the proposed transposition provisions.
The response to the consultation document can be read here (in Dutch). The News Update on the Directive can be read here.