On November 25, 2020 the European Parliament and the Council approved Directive (EU) 2020/1828 “on representative actions for the protection of the collective interests of consumers”.
The Directive, which is part of a broader set of measures called “New Deal for Consumers”, aims at extending and harmonizing consumer protection at EU level. In particular, the new legislation intends to ensure that in all Member States a representative action procedure is available, to protect the collective interests of consumers in relation to infringements of provisions of EU law identified by the Directive (from product liability to data protection rules, from geo-blocking regulations to the provisions on electronic communications).
Pursuant to the Directive, only representative entities appointed by Member States will be qualified to bring such actions, asking for injunctive and compensative measures in the interest of a “class” of consumers.
By December 25, 2022 the Member States will have to comply to the new EU provisions at a national level, and the domestic regulations will apply from June 25, 2023.
It remains to be seen which interactions may arise between the Directive and the new Italian legislation on class actions and collective injunctive actions, introduced by Law no. 31/2019, which will enter into force on May 19, 2021.