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EU pledges to boost consumers rights, avoid US-style lawsuits

European Union regulators pledged to boost consumers’ right to seek compensation for faulty products and failed deliveries, stopping short of allowing US-style class action lawsuits.

The European Commission, the EU’s executive agency, issued a plan today to study „collective redress mechanisms” as part of a package of measures to boost confidence among consumers, whose spending makes up 58% of gross domestic product. „I want to build trust in the market and give people more value for money,” Meglena Kuneva, commissioner for consumer protection, said in a press conference yesterday in Strasbourg, France.

She said the EU plan won’t open the door to class-action lawsuits, which critics contend hurt companies and enrich lawyers in the US without helping victims. The EU needs to update its laws to boost security in on-line shopping and to spur competition across borders, the commission said. Other initiatives include a renewed push to harmonize rules on consumer loans, a measure sought by some lenders to aid expansion and opposed by some governments because it changes regulations that people are familiar with. (Bloomberg)