Research Handbooks in European Law series
Edited by Christian Twigg-Flesner
Chapter 4: Fostering a European legal identity through contract and consumer law
The title of this chapter invites the discussion of several themes related to the field of contract and consumer law that are complex, subtle, and crucial to understanding how the law is changing in Europe. A first, major theme concerns the interactions between the laws of the European countries and the law originating from the European institutions, as well as the interplay of the respective cultures, socio-economic realities and political constitutions. This breaks down into a number of questions that concern all those who have a stake in the making of the law in Europe, both at the national and at the European level. Some of the questions discussed from this perspective are: what kind of projects are the European institutions supporting with respect to contracts and consumer laws? Do they contribute to the development of a specific European legal identity? In what ways do they do so? How do they influence the legal, social, economic and cultural models that are represented at national level? How do the national legal systems and national legal cultures contribute to the making of European laws, respond to, or resist them? A second, important theme emerges by comparing the legal landscape of Europe as a whole with that of other areas of the world where a plurality of legal systems co-exist within an overarching legal framework.
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