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This book emanates from a duo-colloquium which explored the Europeanisation of private law in the context of efforts to consolidate the consumer acquis, the Draft Common Frame of Reference, the appointment of an Expert Group on a Common Frame of Reference in the area of European contract law, the passage of the Consumer Rights Directive and the proposed Common European Sales Law. This book, with fully updated contributions, critically reflects on whether the process of Europeanisation, which has shaped private law in the EU Member States, has now reached a significant turning point in its development, a point of punctuated equilibrium. Written by a team of leading authors, the topics covered will be of concern in all European legal systems and beyond.
This chapter will examine the development, current state and coherence of initiatives aimed at advancing the harmonisation of European private law, initiatives which are traced back to the European Union Commission’s 2001 Communication on Contract Law. In this regard the broadly cast ‘academic’ Draft Common Frame of Reference (DCFR) initiative, the emergent, more focused Common Frame of Reference (CFR) and the ‘optional instrument’ developed under the auspices of the ‘Expert Group,’ as well as the evolution of proposals for the Consumer Rights Directive are initiatives which are, at times, contradictory. The chapter focuses on the contradictions among these different initiatives, as well as inconsistencies within the initiatives.
Given the fragmentation of private law that has always accompanied the process of Europeanisation, and the underlying controversy surrounding EU competence to launch a programme of private law consolidation, the chapter considers more modest and more imaginative initiatives. In particular, issues in consumer protection are analysed by examining the adequacy of traditional standards and mechanisms of protection. The chapter argues that the dissonance within harmonisation discourse is significant and that greater circumspection is called for in terms of the EU’s competence to legislate in this area. It concludes by offering recommendations as to which areas of private law can be realistically consolidated.
Produced under the auspices of an EU-funded Marie Curie research programme, this volume analyses vulnerability in European private law and scrutinises consumer protection in credit and investments in the context of the recent turmoil in financial markets and EU harmonisation initiatives in the area. It explores key issues such as responsible lending, the disclosure of information, consumer confidence, the regulation of consumer investment services and the protection of bank depositors. The chapters emanate from the 'Consumer Protection in Europe: Theory and Practice' duo colloquium which explored consumer protection in Europe in its theoretical and practical dimensions. These topics are even more relevant today given the passage of the Consumer Rights Directive, the appointment of an Expert Group on a common frame of reference, the Green Paper on European Contract Law and the ongoing deliberations surrounding the Common European Sales Law.