Euro-Class Actions: The Next U.S. Export?


U.S.-style class actions are such a good idea, so why keep them to ourselves? Apparently, many in the European Union are wondering just that. Currently, however, only Portugal and the Netherlands have class action procedures that might be familiar to practitioners in the U.S., Canada, or Australia. That may change.

On November 27, the European Commission issued its “Green Paper on Consumer Collective Redress.” Under those proposals, EU consumers could be given broad new powers to file collective actions. Indeed, not to be outdone by their overseas counterparts, the Commission’s proposals include a suggestion that “class action” lawsuits could be publicly funded.

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