As the demand for affordable repair grows stronger across Europe, several member states are developing financial incentives to promote circular economy and to ensure their citizens’ rightful access to affordable repair.
The high cost of repairs is still a key barrier between a product being theoretically repairable and actually repaired, so it is clear that repair will only become a more attractive, or in fact viable, option for consumers if it is affordable. Besides the clear environmental benefits, in the current climate of soaring living costs, tackling the affordability of repair represents an effective way to support European citizens. To achieve this, opening up the after sales repair market and tackling the high price of spare parts is essential.
Furthermore, several success stories from member states illustrate the efficiency of financial incentives to promote repair. This is the case of the different “Reparaturbonus” schemes in Austria and Germany and of the French repair fund.
The universal Right to Repair is an ambitious goal that is intrinsically bottom-up, but the fact that useful financial incentives for repair were first developed at national level shouldn’t de-responsibilize the EU. A European framework for financial incentives for repair would consolidate the progress made so far and extend best practices to further EU countries.
Our panellists presented these national policies and discuss how the EU directive on new rules promoting repair and reuse of goods should prompt the development of such incentives in the whole of Europe.
Our ambitious webinar gave the opportunity to the following panelists to discuss their views:
- Rene Repasi, Member of the European Parliament and IMCO rapporteur on the proposal for common rules promoting the repair of goods;
- Anna Cavazzini, Member of the European Parliament and Chair of the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO);
- Anne-Sophie Pelletier, Member of the European Parliament and member of the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO);
Representatives from France, Austria and Germany to present their repair incentive schemes already in place:
- Birgit Horvath, Austrian Ministry for Climate Protection, department for Waste Prevention;
- Laëtitia Vasseur, Co-founder of Halte à l’Obsolescence Programmée (HOP);
- Janett Rieck, Consumer Organisation of the German State of Thüringen;