No Set Safeguards for “Domestic” Actions

Under the Directive, only pre-vetted “qualified entities” (e.g., consumer associations) can sue for damages for breaches of consumer rights. Many important safeguards relating to these qualified entities apply only to so-called “cross-border” actions. It is up to Member States todecide the level of safeguards for so-called “domestic” cases.

Even more problematic, the definition of a “domestic” action does not consider where the consumers or defendants are located or where the alleged harm took place. The sole determining factor is whether the suit is brought in the same place as the qualified entity is registered, meaning that some cases with significant cross-border implications could be classified as “domestic” in order to skirt safeguards.

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