LAW360 (subscription required) includes an informative post about EU efforts to step up consumer protection efforts. The plans are laid out in EU memo which is here. A key excerpt is as follows - note especially the plans to use the EU's "e-Justice portal" to create online small claims processing. That possibility should scare companies that market lousy products because they have no real fear of honoring warranties.
"To achieve these objectives, the EC plans to develop guidelines by 2014 to help enforcers correctly implement EU rules and the newly adopted consumer rights directive; take a more prominent role in monitoring and coordinating enforcement of the unfair commercial practices directive; and implement an e-Justice portal by 2013 to allow consumers to more efficiently file small-claims forms online. (emphasis added)
By 2014, the commission plans to propose a legislative framework for electronic identification, authentication and signatures; adopt legislative proposals on packaged retail investment products to ensure that retail investors are provided with understandable disclosures; implement a new energy-efficiency directive; and propose an updated package travel directive."