European consumer protection law: Quo vadis?: Thoughts on the compensatory collective redress debate

Stefan Wrbka

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

4 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction. On 11 November 2008, the European Commission presented its Green Paper on Consumer Collective Redress. This Green Paper and its follow-up materials try ‘to assess the current state of redress mechanisms…and to provide options to close any gaps to effective redress’; they have taken the initially mere academic debate to an ‘official’ level and triggered controversial reactions from and among public bodies, scholars, practitioners, professionals, consumers and related interest groups. They touch upon various issues of current interest in relation to consumers and the protection of their interests; the materials deal inter alia with the nature of involved interests, access to justice for consumers and compensatory (collective) redress mechanisms. Closely related topics, such as the suitability of private and public enforcement of consumer rights, alternatives to U.S.-style class actions or parallels to and differences from competition law enforcement, have been widely discussed. Although some of these issues naturally have to be taken into consideration when analyzing the ongoing debate and giving comments on what could or should be done in the future, this chapter will primarily cover the following categories: classification of involved interests, concepts of access to justice and the practicability of collective redress mechanisms in the field of European consumer protection law. It is hoped that this concentration will illuminate the issue of enhancing consumer redress from a different angle. The chapter will start by introducing three key points of interest (the concepts of multilayer interests, access to justice and redress tools) before outlining the ongoing elaborations at the EU-level. It will then continue with some remarks on the compensatory consumer collective redress debate and highlight some of the major issues at stake. I will conclude with some input on how to overcome potential obstacles in the reform debate by integrating the three focused concepts.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCollective Actions
Subtitle of host publicationEnhancing Access to Justice and Reconciling Multilayer Interests?
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages34
ISBN (Electronic)9781139109383
ISBN (Print)9781107021549
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Arts and Humanities


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