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2011 | 1 | nr 2 | 121--129
Tytuł artykułu

Evolution of Consumer Protection Law in the Light of the Proposal for a Horizontal Directive on Consumer Rights and Rome I Regulation

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The aim of this paper is to give a broad analysis of changes in the field of consumer protection law in the European Union over three decades. In 2004, the European Commission launched a project of reviewing consumer law in order to strengthen consumers' confidence in the internal market and to encourage businesses to conduct cross-border trading. The EU consumer protection regulatory framework is based on directives including a minimum harmonization clause. This clause allows Member States to maintain or adopt stricter consumer protection rules and leads to fragmentation in their national laws. For instance, it was found that the notion and definition of a consumer has been designed for use by a specific directive, depending on which area is covered by the regulation of the personal scope. The definition of the so-called weaker party in a contractual relationship is understood in a narrow way, which is highlighted in the established line of the European Court of Justice case law. A brief outline of the history of the shaping of consumer protection policy in the European Union is presented to demonstrate how the problem of amending consumer protection law has evolved in the EU as well as increased in importance; this has been demonstrated in several programs and resolutions of the European Parliament and communications of the European Commission, which discuss the need to reform consumer contract law. The Proposal for a Horizontal Directive on Consumer Rights is the result of a review of consumer law acquis communautaire, referred to as the Consumer Acquis, and aims at introducing a full harmonization clause where feasible. Until recently, the norms governing the determination of the law applicable to consumer contracts have been defined by the Rome Convention of 1980 on the law applicable to contract relations. Due to its overly casuistic nature and outdated provisions relating to consumer contracts, it was decided to amend the Convention, which was changed into the Rome I Regulation. (original abstract)
Opis fizyczny
  • University of Wrocław, Poland
  • 1980 Rome Convention on the law applicable to contractual obligations (consolidated version) [1998] OJ C027/34.
  • Alexander J Belohlavek, Rome I Regulation, Rome convention: Commentary, vol. 1 (C.H. Beck 2010).
  • Case C-361/89, Criminal proceedings against Patrice Di Pinto, [1991] ECR I-01189.
  • Case C-45/96, Bayerische Hypotheken- und Wechselbank AG v Edgard Dietzinger [1998]ECR I-01199.
  • COM (2001) 398 final, 11.07.2001 (OJ 2001 C255/01).
  • COM (2003) 68 final, 12.02.2003 (OJ 2003 C63/01).
  • Commission, Green paper on the conversion of the Rome Convention of 1980 on the law applicable to contractual obligations into a Community instrument and its modernization COM (2002) 654 final.
  • Council Directive 85/577 EEC of 20 December 1985 to protect the consumer in respect ofcontracts negotiated away from business premises [1985] OJ L372/31.
  • Council Directive 90/314/EEC of 13 June 1990 on package travel, package holidays andpackage tour [1990]OJ L158/59.
  • Council Directive 93/13/EEC of 5 April 1993 on unfair terms in consumer contracts, [1995] OJ L095/29.
  • EU Consumer Law Compendium available at: accessed September 2011.
  • European Parliament and the Council Directive 94/47/EC of 26 October 1994 on the protection of purchaser in respect of certain aspects of contracts relating to the purchase of the right to use immovable properties on a timeshare basis OJ L 280/83.
  • H Eidenmuller, F Faust, HCh Grigoleit, N Jansen, G Wagner, R Zimmerman, The Common Frame of References for European Private Law: Policy Choices and Codification Problems,<>accessed August 2011.
  • The European Parliament and the Council Directive 97/7/EC of 20 May 1997 on the protection of consumers in respect of distance contracts [1997] OJ L144/19.
  • The European Parliament and the Council Directive 99/44/EC of 25 May 1999 on certainaspects of the sale of consumer goods and associated guarantees[1999] OJ L171/12.
  • The European Parliament and the Council Regulation 593/2008 of 17 June 2008 on thelaw applicable to contractual obligations [2008] L177/6.
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