Today, MEPs vote in plenary on a resolution for the “right to repair”, which was presented and adopted by the Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee (IMCO) in March. According to the text, the repair industry and consumers should have access to repair and maintenance information free of charge. MEPs also call for a longer warranty period as well as for more information on product labelling. According to the European Pirates in the European Parliament, the text is a step in the right direction.
Patrick Breyer, Member of the European Parliament for the German Pirate Party, explains:
“We welcome this initiative because we believe that users should have control over the technology they use on daily basis. The digital products require special attention, so we are happy to see that functionality updates should be reversible and not lead to diminished performance.
“We still believe the right to repair can go even further. While commercial manufacturers of IT devices must provide updates for a reasonable period of time according to current laws, there is so far no obligation to patch known vulnerabilities in a timely manner. There is also a lack of manufacturer liability for the often devastating consequences of such vulnerabilities. This must be changed. The source code and development tools should have to be made public to allow the community to maintain it as soon as a manufacturer decides to abandon a product that is still in widespread use.”
The EU Commission is considering proposing a draft law on a right to repair in the third quarter of 2022. According to a Eurobarometer survey, 79% of EU citizens believe that manufacturers should be obliged to facilitate the repair of digital devices or the replacement of their individual parts, and 77% would rather have their devices repaired than replaced.”
Marcel Kolaja, Member and Quaestor of the European Parliament, member of the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO), explains:Marcel Kolaja, Member and Quaestor of the European Parliament, member of the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO), explains:
“Reduction of e-waste is one of the key pillars for the sustainable and circular economy. Europe must create legislation that is fair. Consumers should have better access to spare parts and independent repairs at reasonable costs and within reasonable time-limits. On top of that, we also call for the legal guarantee of products to be extended. We believe that longer guarantee period will provide an incentive to choose repair over replace.
“It is also crucial to label the products with information on estimated lifetime and provide as much information as possible on repairability. Manufacturers cannot force consumers to buy new products every other year. That is certainly not the right way towards sustainability. Therefore, I am really glad to see that the Parliament calls for strengthening consumers’ rights in today’s resolution.”