Research Handbooks in European Law series
Edited by Christian Twigg-Flesner
Chapter 6: The challenges of a multi-lingual approach
During the last decades, the harmonisation process in the field of consumer and contract law has undergone a significant evolution in terms of quantity and of quality. From the first point of view, it is important to underline the various aspects of consumers' contracts that are now regulated by EU legislation. From the second point of view, it is at the same time important to highlight that this quantitative development has been accompanied by the raising of a conscience towards the consistent creation of a system of law, where the quality of legislation has been put at the core of various initiatives. While during the first part of this evolution, in fact, the European legislator had taken a 'pointillistic' or 'piecemeal' approach to harmonisation in the area of contract law,more recently the European Commission has taken steps towards a more coherent contract law, working on the development of a consistent European terminology in this field. These evolutions in quantity and quality, which led to a more stringent Europeanisation of contract law, had to cope with the great challenge of translation in the context of European multilingualism. We need in fact to recall that linguistic diversity is a defining feature of European Union law, but – at the same time – this is also a source of numerous practical and theoretical problems.
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