Estonian government amends positions on EU repair of goods initiative

Typical kitchen appliances: a microwave and an electric kettle. Photo is illustrative.
Typical kitchen appliances: a microwave and an electric kettle. Photo is illustrative. Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

The European Union Affairs Committee of the Riigikogu at its Friday sitting commended the Estonian government for amending its positions, on the Riigikogu's proposal, on the EU initiative regarding the repair of goods.

"Repairing things is very important for the environment, because the longer something is used, the smaller its environmental impact is," MP Liisa Pakosta (Eesti 200), chair of the European Union Affairs Committee, said according to a press release.

Pakosta explained that the committee had discussed the initiative in question at two sittings over the summer, and decided to significantly amend Estonia's positions on the matter.

"Just creating an additional state-funded website or sending a washing machine from Võru to France to be repaired are not reasonable solutions," she highlighted. "The Riigikogu committee fully supports the idea that goods must be repaired more, but that the obligations should be appropriate and reasonably enforceable."

The committee found that instead of imposing the repair obligation on producers, it would be more beneficial if producers were obligated to ensure access to all spare parts and repair instructions to local repairers and end users in Estonia.

"If all spare parts can be ordered online and the diagrams necessary for repairs are accessible, it would also contribute to reducing the transport footprint," Pakosta said, commenting on changes the Riigikogu had introduced into Estonia's positions.

If the EU wants to create a website to help find local repair services, the committee believes that this should be done centrally. Pakosta noted that the information needed for repairs should be communicated to the user prior to ordering repairs already, adding that this is also typical practice, as it's often asked what repairs will cost and how long they will take.

Of the European Commission's proposals, the Riigikogu does not support the creation of a long repair information form for comparing repair quotes.

The European Union Affairs Committee discussed the positions submitted by the Estonian government at its sittings on July 7 and 21, and thereafter decided to significantly amend them in cooperation with the Ministry of Justice. The amended positions were presented to the government, who greenlit the positions including the committee's changes at its Thursday meeting.

Estonia's positions regarding the initiative have thus been approved, and representatives of Estonia can now proceed accordingly in negotiations at the European level.


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Editor: Aili Vahtla

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