European Consumer Law Series

This series aims to provide the readers an overview of the consumers’ protection in EU law trough the most relevant situation where the weaker parties normally are involved. Trough the analysis of the sources of law, together with reports of land mark case law from the European Court of Justice as well, consumers
will find a straightforward guide to learn about their rights in certain day-to-day situations, while the legal professionals in general can easily find a list of consumer laws and case law.


Consumer law is indeed one of the biggest and most actual area of law that keeps growing up quickly because of the fast implementation of the services that are provided on the global market. The demand of new services has indeed become bigger day by day. This requires new providers as well and so new law to protect the consumers from abuses in an area where they are the weaker party. That is also why European Union has established a consumer policy programme for an always better consumer protection. Research carried out for the European Parliament indicates that effective consumer protection policy is essential for an efficient and well-functioning European market. Improved transparency and better-informed transactions resulting from well designed and implemented consumer policy result not only in better solutions for consumers but also in improved market efficiency. Effective consumer protection is therefore
an essential element of a properly functioning market. It aims to guarantee consumers rights vis-à-vis merchants and in addition to provide enhanced protection for vulnerable consumers. The financial crisis has demonstrated that consumer protections rules have the potential to make markets fairer and improve the quality of competition. Empowering consumers and effectively protecting their safety and economic interests have become essential goals of European policy. Due to the internal market and the power that Member States have given to the EU in consumer protection area consumers have got minimal standards of protection, because they are protected by common rules no matter where they are from or they live as long as they operate in Europe.


So, the impact of EU Law on national systems of law is huge. Many national laws are indeed the application of EU secondary law, i.e. directives and regulations. At the same time, it is also important to always keep an eye on the European Court of Justice case law (ECJ). The European Court of Justice plays a main role in providing rights to people, and so the rights of consumers. In fact, the Court of Justice of the European Union interprets EU law to make sure it is applied in the same way in all Member States. At this point it is easy to understand why it can be so important in consumer law area. Judgments of the Court have expanded a lot over the years. It does not concern just the interpretation of European laws anymore, but it also contributes to the creation of new rights, for the consumers too, with teleological interpretation, so case law evolves in a highly expansive fashion. Since those judgments contribute to expand and improve the consumers’ rights, it can be said that also produces law constantly.

 

In this work will be discussed about the most relevant topics which interest the European consumers, such as shopping, healthcare, travelling, food safety, internet and telecom. This series consists of multiple volumes. The first one is general and concerns the European law system and its legal basis, related to a general historical overview of consumer protection and the actual consumer olicy; the second one is about the specific topic of shopping and shipping consumer protection; the third one considers the area of healthcare, the fourth one the travellers rights, with a specific focus on air, rail, ship, bus and coach passengers rights and specific contracts such as package travel and linked travel arrangements or timeshare contracts as well; the fifth one is about the food safety and, finally, about internet and telecoms. The editors will carry on publishing in this ambitious series.