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Parliamentary questions
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7 February 2019
Answer given by Ms Jourová on behalf of the European Commission
Question reference: E-005616/2018

The Commission welcomes the European Parliament’s report calling to provide incentives and take regulatory measures to foster products which are more durable and repairable, and which maintain their value to consumers for longer.

The different actions announced in the EU Circular Economy Action Plan are currently being implemented(1), including by preparing the forthcoming Staff Working Paper on product policy. For example, the Commission plans to adopt in the upcoming Ecodesign implementing measures (e.g. on refrigerators, dishwashers, washing machines, televisions) requirements that will contribute to extend the useful lifetime of products(2).

Currently, the Commission has not carried out specific studies on the subject of planned obsolescence; however, a call under the Horizon 2020 work programme has been published to prepare an independent testing programme on premature obsolescence and is expected to start in 2019(3).

Concerning the decision from the Italian Consumer Protection authorities on Apple and Samsung in October 2018, the Commission is monitoring these developments in the framework of the Consumer Protection Cooperation network and organised a dedicated workshop on 24 October 2018.

Lastly, a recent behavioural study on consumer engagement in the circular economy confirmed the high importance of durability and repairability of products for consumers(4). The study contains several policy recommendations, which will be further examined.

Based on the results of this and other ongoing and upcoming research and fact analysis, the Commission may consider follow-up initiatives.

(1)COM (2015) 614.
(2)For example requirements regarding design that supports better reparability, provision of information useful for repairs, provision of spare parts.

Last updated: 7 February 2019Legal notice