Good news everybody! The EU has just agreed new consumer protection rules on repair!
The new measures promise to make repair more affordable for people in the EU. They include mandating reasonable pricing of original parts as well as banning software practices which prevent independent repair and the use of compatible and reused spare parts. It’s also great to see lawmakers encouraging Member States to introduce repair funds & vouchers.
The catch? The rules only apply to certain types of products and contain a number of concerning loopholes.
For more detail, here’s an extract from our European Right to Repair Campaign’s latest newsletter:
Dear Right to Repair supporters,
We finally have an agreement on new EU consumer protection rules on repair! This would never have been possible without our collective effort and intense campaigning. Considering all the pushback we faced, we should all be very proud of what we achieved!
Anatomy of a right to repair proposal
We started from a virtually empty proposal from the EU Commission, so we had to work hard to get the EU Parliament to add useful measures. We campaigned on social media with an animated video on anti-repair practices, we researched spare part prices and wrote about their absurd and unfair reality, this culminated with a mock game of “the price is right” with several politicians trying to guess (crazy!) spare part prices.
After all these efforts, we obtained a strong position from the EU Parliament, but Member States wanted to cut back on the ambition of the proposal. This is when plenty of you used our mass mailing campaign to reach out to your national representatives and helped us maintain crucial measures in the proposal.
The progress made shows that campaigning and advocacy matter. We have the power to push for progress and we must keep fighting towards a broad right to repair. Can you support us to keep doing this work?
So let’s dive into our initial reaction: what progress have we made?
While we don’t yet have access to the full text agreed, we celebrate that EU citizens will get better access to affordable repairs for selected products, but we need a much broader right to repair. Despite just a few products being covered, we applaud:
- rules for reasonable prices for original parts
- bans on software practices which prevent independent repair, the use of compatible and reused spare parts. - However the devil is in the details and it’s early to tell whether the measure is comprehensive enough.
- EU lawmakers encouraging Member States to introduce repair funds & vouchers
What does it mean for the future of Right to Repair?
We will need to keep up our good campaigning work to push the next European Commission (after the EU elections in June) to extend these rules to more product categories. We will also have a stronger basis for national campaigning towards repair funds and vouchers. We are working on further material on the models tested in Austria, Germany & France to spread this debate throughout Europe.
How can you help at this stage?
While these rules are worth celebrating, we need the next EU Commission to keep working towards a broader right to repair. Help us spread the message that repair advocates won’t settle for this limited coverage! Share our social media posts on: