On November 26, 2020, Members of the European Parliament voted in favor of the right to repair and against practices that reduce the lifespan of products. Resulting from a report initiated by David Cormand, the resolution adopted across the political divide paves the way for significant progress in terms of the right to reparation, by signifying to the European Commission that it enjoys their support.

LONGTIME® welcomes this resolution, and is delighted that many of the report’s proposals have already been incorporated into the LONGTIME® label criteria. This confirms the choices we made when drawing up the specifications, and testifies to Europe’s ambition to extend product life.

What is contained in the “Right to reparation” text voted by the European Parliament?

In this vote, MEPs voted in favor of a right to repair for consumers, particularly for digital devices. The aim is to reduce the rate of replacement of products by increasing their reparability, in line with the objectives of the Green Deal and the Green Pact for European Growth.

In the resolution adopted, several levers are mentioned:


The text proposes an extension of warranties and an improvement in post-repair warranties. Remember that Europe recently harmonized the Legal Warranty of Conformity to 24 months, with a minimum 12-month presumption of anteriority of the defect (applicable no later than 01/2022). The new text would “align the validity period of legal warranties more closely with the estimated lifetime of a product category”.


As this is sometimes sorely lacking, the resolution adopted proposes improving and reinforcing access to information on product repair, maintenance and servicing. The report also calls for better consumer information at the time of purchase, by encouraging the development of a reparability index, as will be done in France in 2021, and by providing clear information on product lifespan.

Advertising is also covered by the resolution. The text calls for the introduction of more responsible marketing, for example by establishing criteria for the use of ecological claims in advertising, in order to combat “misleading claims as to the environmental qualities of a good or service”.

AsDavid Cormand (Greens/EFA, FR),MEP and rapporteur for the text, pointed out: “(…) By adopting this report, the Parliament has sent a clear message: harmonizing mandatory sustainability labelling and combating premature obsolescence at EU level is the way forward (…)”.

Tax measure

To restore the attractiveness of repair in favor of product renewal, the adopted resolution proposes adopting the tax incentives introduced in Austria and in certain cities such as Toulouse in France.
The aim is to lower the final bill for the consumer, without reducing the income of repairers: lower VAT, tax exemption for repair work, repair vouchers… There are many ways to take action.

Regulatory measure

Several regulatory levers are addressed, including Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) and end-of-life management of manufactured products. The removal of legal obstacles and a review of the scope of WEEE could facilitate access to products for various structures (professional repairers, spare parts dealers, recycling centers, etc.).
The aim is to boost the second-hand market, while increasing the availability of used parts and raw materials.

Public procurement, in particular through public orders, is also being encouraged to move towards more sustainable products, by rolling out across Europe schemes similar to the Socially and Ecologically Responsible Public Purchasing (SPASER) schemes imposed on French cities.

Programmed Obsolescence, Premature

A little etymological change goes a long way.
We’ve long been calling for the term “Programmed Obsolescence” to be dropped, as it’s the tree that hides the forest. France is a perfect example of this bias, since since the introduction into French law of a law prohibiting programmed obsolescence, no sentence has ever been applied. So we’re pleased to see that at European level, the Early Obsolescence label is making inroads.

It should be noted that it is preferable to “oblige to” rather than “fight against”, in order to provide a better framework for practices that contribute to reducing product lifespan.
It would be far more effective, for example, to require spare parts to be made available for a period of time X for a product Y, rather than to prohibit programmed obsolescence. (Edit EcoDesign standard for washing machines)

What to expect from the resolution adopted in favor of sustainability and the right to reparation

This is a clear message from the European Parliament to the European Commission:
“The time has come to use the objectives of the Green Pact as the basis for a single market that promotes sustainable products and services by design. To achieve this, we need a comprehensive set of rules that facilitate clear and simple decisions, rather than technical amendments that lack political courage and confuse consumers and businesses alike. “David Cormand.

In Europe, 77% of citizens would rather repair their devices than replace them, and 79% believe that manufacturers should be legally obliged to facilitate the repair of digital goods or the replacement of spare parts*. And in view of the ecological impact, it’s urgent to get moving.
Although ambitious, this text is not binding. It should also be noted that it has been heavily attacked in an attempt to weaken its scope through amendments. It remains to be seen how the European Commission will take up these proposals.

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