Research Student: Marina Himoni
European Consumer Law: A Law for the Consumer or the Internal Market? The Case of the Consumer Rights Directive and its application to the UK and Cypriot regimes
The European Commission had referred in its various Actions Plans and Consumer Policy Strategy Documents to the need to increase consumer confidence in the internal market. The Commission has over the years put forward a number of Directives providing for the minimum harmonization of a number of national consumer protection provisions. Based on the same justification, the Commission had in 2008 put forward the Proposal for a Consumer Rights Directive which provided for the full harmonization of the different domestic regimes as a means to increase consumer confidence. The particular shift to maximum harmonisation and the constant reference to the consumer confidence argument have raised concerns as to whether the true objective of the European Commission behind its legislative in the area of European Consumer Law is indeed to protect consumers and make them feel confident in the internal market. Both the initial provision for maximum harmonization under the proposed Consumer Rights Directive as well as the eventual full targeted harmonisation of only certain aspects of the Directive that was in the end secured are in greater detail examined to reveal how the European Commission’s has, by creating a moral panic around consumer confidence, focused on promoting the interests of traders rather than by really striving at consumer protection, in an effort to facilitate cross border and thus contribute to its ultimate purpose of having a perfect internal market in place.
I hold an LLM in International Business Law from the University of Leeds and an LLB from the University of Lancaster. I am also a graduate teaching assistant, leading seminars in both the English Legal System and European Law modules.