Friday, 23 November 2018

Right to Repair campaign hits Europe

The 'right to repair' movement is getting stronger:
Futures Forum: Right to repair
Futures Forum: Solidarity, the DIY-aid movement and civil society >>> transitioning to a sustainable society, a resilient economy
Futures Forum: Made to last? >>> getting companies to offer a 'lifetime product'

The European Parliament is pushing:
The European Parliament Wants Europeans to Have the Right to Repair - Motherboard
Stand up for your Right to Repair – EEB – The European Environmental Bureau

However, there are fears that things might be delayed:

Urgent Right to Repair mobilisation in Europe

27 September 2018

We’re urgently mobilising to save the crucial, pro-Right-to-Repair measures in the European Commission’s “Circular Economy Package”. Over the coming months, EU member states may throw out over two years’ work on creating better product standards for longer-lasting products, specifically appliances and electronics. We stand to lose:
  • access to spare parts
  • repair documentation
  • easier disassembly
We’ve been mobilising quietly and calmly to support a vote on these measures towards the end of the year, but back-room dealing and corporate lobbying may come and render all of our efforts useless in coming weeks.

Key countries – including the UK – are blocking. We need the UK to step out of the way, and our German partners to pressure their government not to bow before the massive manufacturer lobby.

Why the pushback by industry? And why should everybody care around the world? Given the size of the EU market, these measures are potentially game-changing on a global scale. But Europe’s relative size and influence will not last forever. This is a unique opportunity.
What you can do

1.) If you live in the UK, sign our petition and share widely. (If you are German, sign this one. If you are Italian, sign this one.)

2.) Wherever you live, stay informed via our monthly newsletter.

3.) If you are part of a community repair organisation in Europe, get news about a future Right to Repair campaign here.

If this is not enough for you, we’d love to hear from you, whoever you are! Don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Urgent Right to Repair mobilisation in Europe - The Restart Project

Towards The Right To Repair In Europe


Partners in Brussels are warning us that the crucial vote described below may be delayed for at least two years – or never happen. This decision will be made very soon. Sign/share a petition: DE |UK | IT

 UPDATE – 10 Oct

Success: the European Commission decided not to postpone the vote by the Council of the European Union vote (where each member country votes). However, members states could still water down the measures significantly, or vote against. Therefore, we need to maintain our mobilisation and pressure, especially on Germany, Italy and UK which are blocking. All petitions above are still fully relevant.
Later this year, all 28 European Union member states will vote on a new eco-design “package” of proposed regulations, an event that could set a very valuable precedent to push for a Right to Repair movement in the EU.
Eco-design measures can bring real progress towards better repairability of electricals and electronics, a key goal for the Open Repair Alliance. They can directly influence the durability and repairability of our products, for example making products more energy-efficient and designed to be easier to repair.

A big opportunity and a precedent

The upcoming vote is particularly important given that it could require, for the first time, that manufacturers of washing machines and dishwashers to be sold in the EU provide spare parts for 7 years and access to repair information.
While these measures would be restricted to these white goods, typically not repaired at community repair events, they would set a crucial precedent which could in the future be extended to other devices. And chances are that Europe’s move could contribute to the adoption of similar regulation elsewhere in the world.
This vote also marks a special opportunity for the United Kingdom, as it will likely be the last chance it has to contribute to ecodesign regulation before leaving the EU as a result of Brexit.
repair laptop

Learning from the US

The Right to Repair movement is growing stronger in the United States, while in Europe it is in very early stages, despite the popularity of Repair Cafes and community repair in general. The upcoming ecodesign package follows a 2017 resolution from the European Parliament which encouraged the European Commission, as well as member states and manufacturers, to improve the durability, quality and repairability of our products. Given the importance of the EU market, ecodesign measures have the potential to benefit other countries, including the US.
At the same time, Europeans have a lot to learn from the US Right to Repair campaign, which is bringing together consumers and independent repair businesses, as discussed in a recent conversation between Ugo Vallauri, co-founder of Open Repair Alliance member The Restart Project, and Nathan Proctor, Director of US PIRG’s Right to Repair campaign.

What the Open Repair Alliance can contribute

With these conversations happening at EU level,  Open Repair Alliance members can contribute with their experience and data, particularly on the issue of spare parts. This data can help illustrate the importance of spare parts not just for white goods, but for other devices too, and open up discussions about their availability and their affordability. Open Repair Alliance members collect data on repairs, and are giving priority to adopting a more standardised collection of spare parts information in events such as Repair Cafes and Fixit Clinics around the world.

Get involved

If your repair organisation or community repair group would like to get involved in our effort to mobilise in support of Right to Repair, please sign up to our email list.

Towards the Right to Repair in Europe – OPEN REPAIR ALLIANCE.

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