Friday, 3 May 2019

The last decade of EU consumer law

IMCO committee of the European Parliament has commissioned a report with Osnabrück University on the last decade of achievements in European consumer protection (2008-2018), which has just been published: Contribution to Growth: Legal Aspects of Protecting European Consumers. The report counts 140 pages and is a good summary of the legislative initiatives for anyone interested in looking up what rights consumers enjoy and what obligations traders and service providers have pursuant to EU consumer law. It is a good starting point to identify various applicable directives and regulations, find out about their main scope, in such diverse areas as e.g. digital services (e.g. geo-blocking), financial markets and services (e.g. market abuse directive, MAD) and product safety (all discussed in part 2). However, it comes short on referencing further scholarship or case law on the referred topics. Thus, readers interested in taking a more in-depth look into these measures would need to look elsewhere. The report also identifies current challenges to consumer protection in the digital world and with regards to the environmental protection, and what is currently being proposed to tackle them (part 3).

It might be worth noting that the report identifies only three instruments as adopted in this time period, which have a straightforward objective to raise the level of consumer protection by providing consumers with substantive consumer rights: Consumer Rights Directive, new Package Travel Directive and the Mortgage Credit Directive (page 23). That does not seem much for a 10 year period. Of course, the report mentions the ongoing legislative process under the DSM and New Deal proposals, but it has been finalised before the adoption of some of these measures, and does not account for their final texts. 

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