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A sustainable single market should have consumers and the Green Deal at its core, say S&Ds


26 Oct 2020


Sustainable Dev.

The Socialists and Democrats spearheaded the way to the implementation of progressive, citizen-orientated consumer legislation in Europe. Despite strong opposition from members of the EPP, Renew Europe, ECR and the far right, the committee on consumer protection managed to approve the file on the sustainable single market. The final vote will take place in plenary in November, when conservatives and liberals will, again, get their chance to prove on which side of the Green Deal they choose to position themselves.

Biljana Borzan MEP, S&D vice-president for consumer protection and negotiator on the file, said:

“Our citizens should know what they are spending money on. This is why we voted in favour of a ban on practices that lead to the premature obsolescence of products and the introduction of mandatory labelling on their expected lifespan and reparability. Studies have shown that 77% of our citizens would prefer to repair rather than buy a new product, but they are often frustrated by unavailable and over-priced spare parts. Therefore, we call on the Commission to introduce a strong right to repair for consumers through the availability of spare parts at a reasonable price.

“We want guarantees that “going green” will not be reserved for the wealthy and privileged. We want to achieve a just transition, which prevents low and middle income groups, already suffering from the current crisis, from having to bear the highest burden and see their cost of living rise. Moving towards more sustainable consumption and production, longer product lifespans, the alignment of legal and commercial guarantees, and the regulation of phenomena such as “fast fashion”, as well as the destruction of unsold products should be brought into the spotlight. Therefore, we call on the European Commission to come forward with a meaningful legislative proposal on the sustainable single market. This should include the promotion of the reuse sector, a ban on planned obsolescence, mandatory labelling and more socially just and sustainable public procurement.”

Christel Schaldemose MEP, S&D spokeswoman on the internal market and consumer protection, said:

“Concrete action is urgently needed to fight against the disruption of our climate. Consumer habits and choices play a significant role in tackling climate change and environmental issues. We need to change the way we produce and consume now in order to protect our citizens and the environment, and achieve more sustainable economic growth. Once again, conservatives and liberals did not deliver when it comes to concrete actions to achieve this aim. They prefer to let the Green Deal remain an empty promise.”