Motion for a resolution - B9-0072/2020Motion for a resolution

MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on a common charger for mobile radio equipment

22.1.2020 - (2019/2983(RSP))

to wind up the debate on the statement by the Commission
pursuant to Rule 132(2) of the Rules of Procedure

Christel Schaldemose, Alex Agius Saliba
on behalf of the S&D Group

See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B9-0070/2020

Procedure : 2019/2983(RSP)
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European Parliament resolution on a common charger for mobile radio equipment


The European Parliament,

 having regard to Directive 2014/53/EU (Radio Equipment Directive) of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 April 2014 on the harmonisation of the laws of the Member States relating to the making available on the market of radio equipment and repealing Directive 1999/5/EC[1],

 having regard to Rule 132(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A. whereas the single market has been, and remains, the basis for the EU’s economic success, the cornerstone of European integration and an engine for growth and jobs;

B. whereas the single market is not fully exploiting its potential and the continuation of market fragmentation for mobile phone chargers and chargers for other small and medium-sized electronic devices translates into significant detrimental market effects, including an increase in e-waste and the use of plastic, consumer frustration, and competition barriers in charger manufacturing;

C. whereas for more than 10 years Members of the European Parliament have been demanding a common charger for mobile radio equipment, including mobile phones and other electronic devices such as tablets, e-book readers, smart cameras and wearable electronics;

D. whereas, despite the Commission’s efforts, voluntary agreements between industry players have not produced satisfactory results and have proven to be ineffective in fostering market change and a single competitive market since consumers are still obliged to buy new chargers with all new devices;

E. whereas around 50 million metric tonnes of e-waste is generated globally per year, at an average of more than 6 kg per person, with a negative effect on the dumping of e-waste in third countries; whereas Europe was the second-largest generator of e-waste in 2016, with a total of 12.3 million metric tonnes corresponding to an average of 16.6 kg per inhabitant;

F. whereas the combined weight of all the chargers for mobile phones and other electronic devices produced each year is estimated at 1 million tonnes; whereas, within the framework of the Commission’s commitment to deliver the Green Deal, this highlights the importance of finding a sustainable solution to reduce the number of such power supplies to one universal power charger compatible with different devices;

G. whereas consumer trends in the past 10 years show that the amount of obsolete electronic equipment is further driven by the relatively short replacement and lifespan cycles of some electronic devices such as smartphones which are often replaced not because they are broken or obsolete but because they are considered outdated;

H. whereas consumers own, use and often carry with them many different chargers for similar battery-operated devices; whereas the present oversupply of chargers – both within and among brands – thus generates excessive costs and inconvenience to consumers and an unnecessary environmental footprint;

I. whereas consumers have no financial incentive to buy products without chargers since purchasing an individual charger costs more on average than when it is delivered with the product; whereas this leads consumers towards unsustainable consumer habits and patterns, resulting in unnecessary costs and burdens on the environment through the extraction of raw materials for the construction of chargers and their subsequent transport, shipping and disposal;

J. whereas mobile devices are nowadays important tools in emergency and force majeure situations, and people have come to rely on easily and readily charged mobile phones in order to gain quick access to information search, navigation or emergency services, etc.;

K. whereas mobile devices are an essential tool for participation in the market and for social inclusion, as their use in everyday transactions and communication has significantly increased;

1. Stresses emphatically that there is an urgent need for regulatory EU action in order to reduce the amount of electronic waste and the number of chargers to one universal charger, as well as to empower consumers to make more sustainable choices and allow them to fully participate in an efficient and properly functioning internal market;

2. Urges the Commission to publish and present without any further delay the results of the impact assessment on the introduction of common chargers for mobile telephones and other compatible devices with a view to proposing mandatory provisions;

3. Calls, therefore, on the Commission to adopt the delegated act supplementing Directive 2014/53/EU on radio equipment by July 2020 at the latest to ensure that a common mobile phone charger is introduced without further delay; further calls on the Commission to adopt another legislative measure with respect to charging solutions for other electronic devices as soon as possible in order to create a sustainable market for mobile devices;

4. Emphasises the need for the Commission to request the development of a single European standard for a common charger for mobile radio equipment and other devices to be adopted as a matter of urgency in order to avoid any further fragmentation of the internal market ;

5. Points out that the use of wireless charging technology offers additional potential benefits; calls, therefore, on the Commission to avoid any market fragmentation in this area as well, and to take measures to best ensure the interoperability and charging speed of different wireless chargers with different mobile radio equipment;

6. Calls on the Commission to reduce barriers and costs for consumers and to facilitate user-friendly charging solutions for persons with disabilities;

7. Believes that the Commission should adopt legislative initiatives to reduce the volume of cables and chargers collected and recycled in the Member States, to boost the re-use of obsolete materials, and to deliver safety, economic and environmental benefits in the interests of consumers and the environment;

8. Urges the Commission to ensure that consumers are no longer obliged to buy a new charger with each new device, thus reducing the purchase cost, and are informed about the interoperability, charging performance and speed of charging devices so that they can make the most convenient, cost-efficient and sustainable choice for themselves;

9. Underlines that any measures aimed at decoupling the sale of mobile devices and chargers should be accompanied by regulatory measures that introduce a universal charger for mobile radio equipment in order to avoid further inconvenience and potentially higher prices for consumers;

10. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission and the governments and parliaments of the Member States.

Last updated: 23 January 2020
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