Injunctions protecting the collective interests of consumers
Directive 2009/22/EC – injunctions for the protection of consumers’ interests
WHAT IS THE AIM OF THE DIRECTIVE?
It introduces European Union (EU) rules to ensure that injunctions are effective enough to terminate infringements that are harmful to the collective interests of consumers.
The directive will be repealed and replaced by Directive (EU) 2020/1828 (see summary) as of 25 June 2023.
Injunctions aim to terminate or prohibit infringements that are contrary to the collective interests of consumers. The alignment of legislation in accordance with this directive allows these injunctions to be more effective and enables the EU’s internal market to function more smoothly.
The infringements concerned include those relating to consumer credit, package travel, unfair terms in contracts concluded with consumers, distance contracts and unfair commercial practices. A full list of the directives concerned can be found in Annex I to Directive 2009/22/EC.
Recourse to injunctions may result in:
the cessation or prohibition of an infringement, where appropriate by way of summary procedure*;
the elimination of the continuing effects of an infringement, particularly through the publication of the decision;
the sentencing of defendants to comply with a decision by requiring them to pay a fine.
Bodies qualified to bring an action must have a legitimate interest in ensuring that the collective interests of consumers and the smooth running of the internal market are complied with. This is the case, in particular, for independent public bodies specifically responsible for protecting the collective interests of consumers, or for consumer protection organisations.
A list of the qualified authorities that may bring action in the event of infringements within the EU is established by the European Commission and published in the Official Journal of the European Union. For the list of qualified bodies that are able to act in the case of infringements within the EU, please see here.
The EU Member State in which an action is to be brought may decide whether there should be prior consultation between the parties, in the presence or not of a qualified body from that country. If the infringement continues for more than 2 weeks after the request for consultation has been received, the action for an injunction may be brought immediately.
A study on the application of Directive 2009/22/EC was undertaken in 2011 and was used in the preparation of a Commission report published in 2012.
The directive was evaluated in 2017 within the fitness check of EU consumer and marketing law.
Directive 2009/22/EC will be repealed and replaced by Directive (EU) 2020/1828 as of 25 June 2023. The latter was adopted following the Commission’s ‘new deal for consumers’ initiative.
FROM WHEN DOES THE DIRECTIVE APPLY?
It has applied since 29 December 2009. Directive 2009/22/EC codified and replaced Directive 98/27/EC and its subsequent amendments. The original Directive 98/27/EC had to become law in the Member States by 2001.
For further information, see:
Injunctions (European Commission).
Summary procedure. A special procedure enabling the arbitral tribunal to discard ineligible, abusive claims at the preliminary stage of an arbitration proceeding.
Directive 2009/22/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 April 2009 on injunctions for the protection of consumers’ interests (codified version) (OJ L 110, 1.5.2009, pp. 30–36).
Successive amendments to Directive 2009/22/EC have been incorporated in the original text. This consolidated version is of documentary value only.
Report on the fitness check of consumer and marketing law of 25 May 2017 (SWD(2017) 209 final).
Report from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council concerning the application of Directive 2009/22/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on injunctions for the protection of consumers’ interest (COM(2012) 635 final, 6.11.2012).
Commission Recommendation 2013/396/EU of 11 June 2013 on common principles for injunctive and compensatory collective redress mechanisms in the Member States concerning violations of rights granted under Union Law (OJ L 201, 26.7.2013, pp. 60–65).
Notification from the Commission concerning Article 4(3) of Directive 2009/22/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on injunctions for the protection of consumers’ interests, which codifies Directive 98/27/EC, concerning the entities qualified to bring an action under Article 2 of this Directive (OJ C 361, 30.9.2016, pp. 1–55).
Corrigendum to Notification from the Commission concerning Article 4(3) of Directive 2009/22/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on injunctions for the protection of consumers’ interests, which codifies Directive 98/27/EC, concerning the entities qualified to bring an action under Article 2 of this Directive (OJ C 367, 6.10.2016, p. 6).
last update 03.02.2022