Part B Practical Approach to Consumer Participation, 5 Improving Consumers’ Role: Collective Actions
Chapter 5 first provides a critical account of the Commission’s approach towards collective action mechanisms in the fields of consumer and competition law. This historical analysis serves as the springboard for exploring the normative justifications supporting the adoption of specific collective action mechanisms for consumer claims in competition law (serving access to justice and the collective consumer interest). Following these justifications, the analysis discusses the necessary structural characteristics of effective consumer collective action mechanisms (by reference to the federal US model) and explores whether the collective redress systems available in different Member States provide these structural characteristics. Finally, a collective action framework promoting consumer claims while paying due respect to EU legal culture and Member States’ individual traditions is presented by focusing on who can bring a claim (consumer representatives), the opt-out nature of group formation, the funding of the respective actions, and the distribution of the damages award.