On 4 February 2011 the European Commission (Commission) launched a new public consultation on collective redress. This form of redress allows individuals or businesses to pursue parallel actions in the national courts for common redress (e.g. injunctive relief and damages actions). There are forms of collective redress mechanisms in a number of EU member states (particularly in the field of consumer and environment law). However, the system is not widespread and the national systems operate a variety of forms including: actions in court, out of court settlements, alternative dispute resolutions and entrusting representatives with the enforcement of legal claims. The Commission has been keen to allay fears that the EU is seeking to emulate the US class action model which is generally not supported by EU national governments and judiciaries. The Commission believes that a coherent European framework drawing on different national traditions may benefit EU litigants in certain fields. However, it has stressed that the public consultation is not based on a pre-conceived outcome following public criticism of attempts in 2008 to introduce some form of harmonised system of collective redress in the fields of consumer and competition law.