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S&Ds secure ‘right to repair’ that protects consumers’ rights and the environment

Date

21 Nov 2023

Sections

Global Europe

Today, under the lead of the S&D Group, MEPs adopted crucial measures to strengthen the right to repair and promote sustainable consumption.

Given that only 20% of all phones and computers are repaired, and that the premature disposal of viable consumer goods generates 261 million tonnes of CO2-equivalent emissions, boosting repair and reuse is more necessary than ever.

Once again, the Socialists and Democrats have shown their commitment to empower consumers and shield their rights whilst protecting the environment. Some of our progressive proposals included: enlarging the scope of the right to repair after the expiry of the minimum guarantee period; setting the right incentives for the repair of goods (vacuum cleaners, smartphones, washing machines, etc.) with an additional legal guarantee of twelve months in cases of repair; strengthening repair demand by establishing appropriate incentives at member state level, such as repair vouchers or national repair funds. 

René Repasi, S&D MEP and EP rapporteur the common rules promoting the repair of goods, said:

“Every year, the premature replacement of goods represents a loss of €12 billion in consumers’ pockets and the production of 35 million tonnes of waste. We want to empower consumers and incentivise them to choose repairing their goods instead of being obliged to replace them. 

“We want to bolster repair shops to offer competitive and affordable repair. To this aim, the S&D Group fought to ensure that independent repairers, refurbishers and end-users would have access to spare parts as well as all repair-related information and tools, including diagnostic tools, at a reasonable and non-discriminatory cost. More competition will drive down repair costs and encourage consumers across Europe to embrace the repair culture. 

“We also want to ban practices that impede repair such as serialisation, part pairing or preventing repair by independent repair shops.

“With the right to repair we want to promote a more sustainable consumption of goods, protect the environment and save consumers’ money.”

Next steps

After the plenary vote, the negotiations in trilogue will start on 7th December. A final text may be adopted under the Belgian Presidency before the 2024 European elections.

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