Revising the Consumer Acquis: (Half) Opening the Doors of the Trojan Horse
European Review of Private Law, 2008
18 Pages Posted: 2 Apr 2008
This paper investigates the Green Paper's proposals for the revision of the acquis communautaire from the angle of public consultation. The Green Paper asks many abstract questions, however the crucial question whether Europe needs and/or wants a European Consumer Code has not been addressed. The rhetorical use of leading questions seems to lead in one direction, which is a horizontal instrument embracing maximum harmonization. The imperatives of the Green Paper are highly political and not merely technical, as the Commission seems to suggest. Only two policy oriented goals are mentioned, yet others need to be identified and pursued, such as the appropriate level of consumer protection. First this paper adopts a critical methodological enquiry to examine the Commission's leading questions technique as well as indicating that the presentation of its report on the outcome of public consultation, is not entirely neutral. Next the option of a horizontal instrument is discussed more fully. It would seem that more empirical evidence is required to convince us of that such an instrument is workable and effective. Finally, the appropriate level of harmonization: minimum or maximum is investigated. Arguments against "full targeted harmonisation" are given. It is suggested that the Commission is not telling us the full story.
Keywords: Consumer Law, European Commission
JEL Classification: K12
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation