27 Sep, 2021

Common charger: Renew Europe welcomes long-awaited proposal

The Renew Europe Group welcomed last week’s proposal by the European Commission for a revised Radio Equipment Directive, aimed at harmonising the charging port and fast charging technology for all smartphones, tablets, cameras, headphones, portable speakers and handheld videogame consoles.

For more than ten years, liberals in the European Parliament have been pushing for such an initiative to reduce cost, waste and to offer more user-friendly solutions to citizens. USB-C will become the standard port, regardless of device brand and combined with the other measures, this will help consumers limit the number of new chargers by cutting €250 million a year in unnecessary purchases.

Liesje Schreinemacher MEP (VVD, NL), Shadow Rapporteur in the European Parliament Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) on the Radio Equipment Directive, said:

“After more than ten years of pressuring the European Commission, they have finally presented a proposal for a common charger. This is a great step forward for consumers and the environment, while leaving enough room for innovation. Consumers don’t need to be pressured into buying a new charger every time they buy a new smartphone or tablet. This way, we will save almost 1000 tonnes of waste.”

ALDE Party Vice-President Dita Charanzová MEP (ANO, CZ), Vice-President of the European Parliament and Renew Europe Group Coordinator in the IMCO Committee, added:

"It is about time. Liberals have been calling for this for a decade. Two failed memorandums of understanding later, both of which some companies only ‘technically’ implemented, and here we are. It is time to do away with multiple types of cables and this is a first step. This is good for the environment and consumers."

"Of course, innovation should be supported and new standards will come, be they wired or wireless. Without a doubt there will be a USB-D, E, or even F in the future. But when we change next, we should do it in a united and non-piecemeal manner."

The proposal must be adopted by the European Parliament and the European Council to be implemented. Once completed the legislative procedure, industry will have two years to adapt and come up with full interoperability on both sides of the cable: the electronic device and the external power supply.

Photo credit: Michel Christen, European Parliament 2021.

Photo credit: Jan Van De Vel, European Parliament 2021.

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