At its today’s sitting, the European Union Affairs Committee of the Riigikogu (Parliament of Estonia) discussed the European Union initiative for common rules promoting the repair of goods. The aim of the initiative is to reduce the quantity of waste generated and to support environmental protection and the green transition. As a result of the changes, the production of goods and the need for valuable resources to make new products should decrease.
The obligatory activities to facilitate the repair of goods that were set out on the proposal were not supported by the European Union Affairs Committee on the 7 July sitting of the Committee. In the meantime, the Committee together with the Ministry of Justice had been working on new proposals regarding the initiative, that were in line with the views of the members of the Riigikogu on promoting the repair of goods.
Chair of the Committee Liisa Pakosta, several other countries also were critical of the obligations proposed by the European Union for the same reasons as Estonia. “We really want that things were repaired more, but to achieve this, the obligations imposed must be appropriate and, secondly, they must be reasonably enforceable,” Pakosta underlined. She said that the European Union Affairs Committee had decided that it would not be right to adopt the Directive in the proposed form because obliging the producer to repair goods would not help an owner of a broken washing machine in Kõpu, who would have to send it, for example, to France for repairs. It would be of much more use if a clear obligation was imposed for producers to improve the access to all spare parts and repair instructions to repairers and end-users of the products. “A much greater reduction in the transport footprint would be achieved if all spare parts could be ordered online and the information on all the drawings needed for repairs was available,” Pakosta noted.
The Chair of the Committee added that if the EU wanted to create a webpage to help find repair services, it should be central and multilingual. “In Estonia, people can find this information using existing search engines, but maybe when you are in another country for work, it really helps if you can quickly find a repair shop there, using central information,” she said, and emphasised that repairing products is a very important environmental goal, but the repair itself must also be organised in an environmentally friendly way, and the most environmentally friendly way was to repair things without transporting them too far.
“We also consider it important that the consumer should be given information on repair services before concluding the contract according to the legislation already in force, but do not support establishing the repair information form set out in the directive. Preparing a page-sized table as a price offer would increase the administrative burden of businesses while we would have no guarantee that it will be of any use to the consumer, especially in a situation where the consumer would have to pay for the price offer,” Pakosta found. “Actually, in another item on the agenda, we also decided to support more broadly the reduction of reporting by 25%, and we thought it important to add that the reduction in reporting should be kept in mind already in a proactive way, when creating new legal provisions,” she added.
For more information, please contact: Liisa Pakosta, phone +372 502 6191
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