European Parliament Votes for Right to Repair

By Kyle Wiens

In a landmark move, the European Parliament voted today to support consumers’ Right to Repair. The resolution was adopted with 395 in favour and just 94 against, with 207 abstentions.

“By adopting this report, the European Parliament sent a clear message: harmonised mandatory labelling indicating durability and tackling premature obsolescence at EU level are the way forward,” said Rapporteur David Cormand, MEP from France.

The vote calls for the EU Commission to “develop and introduce mandatory labelling, to provide clear, immediately visible and easy-to-understand information to consumers on the estimated lifetime and reparability of a product at the time of purchase.”

Ugo Vallauri, Co-Founder of the Restart Project, a founding member of the European Right to Repair Campaign, was jubilant. “We hope this will translate into swift action to bring a mandatory repairability score index for all electricals and electronic products sold across the EU, to help consumers to shop with confidence.”

France’s new repairability index will help consumers prioritize products that are easier to fix.

In January, France is rolling out repairability ratings for smartphones, laptops, and other products. Austria is also reducing taxes on repair services and providing subsidies for consumer repairs.

The EU motion calls for a repair score, similar to the scores that iFixit has been assigning to gadgets for the past fifteen years. According to a recent EU survey, 77% of EU citizens would rather repair their devices than replace them; 79% think that manufacturers should be legally obliged to facilitate the repair of digital devices or the replacement of their individual parts.

Matthias Huisken, Director of Advocacy for iFixit Europe, said “This is a huge win for consumers across Europe. This vote will set in motion a wave of new repair-friendly policies, from repair scores at retail to product longevity disclosures.”

“This vote shows that right to repair measures are backed by opinion polls but also by the European Parliament. The European Commission now needs to take this momentum and move forward swiftly in 2021 on a EU-wide repairability score for all electronic devices and repairability rules for computers” said Chloe Mikolajczak, EU campaigner for the Right to Repair.