Important EC vote on washing machines, spare parts, and precedent for Right to Repair


From the Open Repair Alliance website - feel free to comment here or there.

Towards The Right To Repair In Europe

Later this year, all 28 European Union member states will vote on a new eco-design “package” of proposed regulations, an event that could set a very valuable precedent to push for a Right to Repair movement in the EU.

Eco-design measures can bring real progress towards better repairability of electricals and electronics, a key goal for the Open Repair Alliance. They can directly influence the durability and repairability of our products, for example making products more energy-efficient and designed to be easier to repair.

A big opportunity and a precedent

The upcoming vote is particularly important given that it could require, for the first time, that manufacturers of washing machines and dishwashers to be sold in the EU provide spare parts for 7 years and access to repair information.

While these measures would be restricted to these white goods, typically not repaired at community repair events, they would set a crucial precedent which could in the future be extended to other devices. And chances are that Europe’s move could contribute to the adoption of similar regulation elsewhere in the world.

This vote also marks a special opportunity for the United Kingdom, as it will likely be the last chance it has to contribute to ecodesign regulation before leaving the EU as a result of Brexit.
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Learning from the US

The Right to Repair movement is growing stronger in the United States, while in Europe it is in very early stages, despite the popularity of Repair Cafes and community repair in general. The upcoming ecodesign package follows a 2017 resolution from the European Parliament which encouraged the European Commission, as well as member states and manufacturers, to improve the durability, quality and repairability of our products. Given the importance of the EU market, ecodesign measures have the potential to benefit other countries, including the US.

At the same time, Europeans have a lot to learn from the US Right to Repair campaign, which is bringing together consumers and independent repair businesses, as discussed in a recent conversation between Ugo Vallauri, co-founder of Open Repair Alliance member The Restart Project, and Nathan Proctor, Director of US PIRG’s Right to Repair campaign.

What the Open Repair Alliance can contribute

With these conversations happening at EU level, Open Repair Alliance members can contribute with their experience and data, particularly on the issue of spare parts. This data can help illustrate the importance of spare parts not just for white goods, but for other devices too, and open up discussions about their availability and their affordability. Open Repair Alliance members collect data on repairs, and are giving priority to adopting a more standardised collection of spare parts information in events such as Repair Cafes and Fixit Clinics around the world.


Just to say there is an urgent update to this post. Looks like this vote might be indefinitely postponed soon, because Germany, the UK and Italy are blocking.

Please take time to sign/share…


:it: [?]

Would someone like to help @ugo generate a petition for Italy, and push it out through the appropriate networks?


Is there a Redditor in the house? @Ten? @benski?

We could use some help disseminating the UK petition there. Check this out :star_struck:


On Twitter this morning asking for stories of thwarted repairs, illustrating the importance of these measures - please follow along/chip in - if you can spare a couple of minutes @philip @Dave @benski @hkoundi


Here’s Guardian coverage of happenings in Brussels - a decision was not taken this week, and will instead occur “at the highest level”

Perhaps we finally have a good “villain” in this story. Just read Selmayr’s Wikipedia entry (let’s hope he hasn’t edited it too much :laughing:)


If you have time to go deeper, all is explained here by our partners in Brussels and Ugo