The Common European Sales Law - Have the Right Choices Been Made? A Consumer Policy Perspective
16 Pages Posted: 24 Mar 2012
Date Written: March 22, 2012
From a broader policy point of view, introducing an optional regulatory tool with the aim of replacing national consumer law (itself based on EU legislation), even if only for cross‐border contracts at first puts the entire raison d’être of the consumer law acquis into question. The harmonisation of EU consumer law has been one of the most successful flagships of European integration and has delivered tangible benefits and modern rights to consumers. Changing this regulatory policy by way of an experimental new tool which bears very clear and serious risks for consumers is undesirable. One of the many negative consequences of any such new policy approach is already apparent in relation to consumer contract rules for digital content products. As shown in point IV above, clarifying, updating and completing the existing acquis in order to provide solid rights for all European consumers in this area is both urgent and necessary. Yet the European Commission does not intend to put forward any “traditional” non‐optional legislative initiative besides the proposed CESL. It gives the impression to trust business will step in by applying the optional instrument to provide for the necessary protection of European consumers. A short and mid‐term strategy to promote cross‐border consumer trade, established and implemented in a fully transparent and democratic process with the stakeholders, is necessary. Such a strategy is fleshed out in this paper.
Keywords: Consumer acquis, harmonisation, common european sales law
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