EU Consumer Law and Policy

EU Consumer Law and Policy

Second Edition

Elgar European Law series

Stephen Weatherill

This new edition of Stephen Weatherill’s acclaimed book provides a comprehensive introduction to all facets of the EU’s involvement in consumer law and policy. Consumers are expected to benefit from the EU’s project of economic integration, enjoying wider choice and improved quality, and yet they need protection from the dangers that flow from malfunctioning and unfair markets. The EU’s consumer law and policy is an attempt to have the best of both worlds – a liberalised yet properly regulated trading space for Europe.

Chapter 5: Regulating the substance transactions

Stephen Weatherill

Subjects: law - academic, consumer law, european law


Techniques such as mandatory information disclosure and ‘cooling-off’ periods, examined in the last chapter, can be summarised as attempts to use the law to support the consumer in the pre- and post-contractual phase. They aim to make the consumer more fully aware of the nature of the transaction under contemplation; and to provide an opportunity for withdrawal even after the deal has been agreed. So, to the extent provided by the Directives, the consumer is encouraged to think again before contracting and allowed to change his or her mind even after contracting. But the terms of the bargain themselves are unaffected by these measures. The assumption of the technique of information disclosure is that the consumer, armed with a clearer appreciation of what is on offer, will be able to negotiate a deal closer to his or her real preferences. In consequence, the market system will work more efficiently. ‘Cooling-off’ periods offer a fall-back protection.

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