Sharing the same values regarding consumer protection as the European Commission, the Council of the Notariats of the European Union (CNUE), which met on 11 May in The Hague for its General Assembly, adopted a number of essential responses to the questions raised by the European Commission in the consultation it launched on the Green Paper on the Review of the Consumer Acquis.
The 21 Presidents of the CNUE’s member notariats agree with the Commission’s project to enhance consumer confidence in the Union’s Single Market, which it intends to equip with a series of unique and simple rules allowing consumers to know their rights, make the right choices and benefit from appropriate protection in case of problems.
The CNUE believes that the best approach in reviewing consumer legislation is the mixed approach, adopting one horizontal instrument to eliminate incoherencies of the acquis combined with a vertical review of the various existing Directives.
The notariat also supports the idea of a horizontal instrument to help clarify the legal terminology and coordinate the provisions between the various existing instruments in the consumer acquis. This would simplify the consumer acquis and make it more coherent.
The notariat also calls for this horizontal instrument to be elaborated in harmony with the current process reviewing European contract law.
However, in order to ensure a high level of consumer protection, the CNUE sees a significant risk of minimalist protection in the approach proposed by the Commission, which is based on total harmonisation.
Consequently, the CNUE President, Mr Woschnak, fears that “total harmonisation would only lead to an unacceptable reduction in consumer protection in counties with stricter rules”.