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This book analyses the founding years of consumer law and consumer policy in Europe. It combines two dimensions: the making of national consumer law and the making of European consumer law, and how both are intertwined.
The chapters on Germany, Italy, the Nordic countries and the United Kingdom serve to explain the economic and the political background which led to different legal and policy approaches in the then old Member States from the 1960s onwards. The chapter on Poland adds a different layer, the one of a former socialist country with its own consumer law and how joining the EU affected consumer law at the national level. The making of European consumer law started in the 1970s rather cautiously, but gradually the European Commission took an ever stronger position in promoting not only European consumer law but also in supporting the building of the European Consumer Organisation (BEUC), the umbrella organisation of the national consumer bodies.
The book unites the early protagonists who were involved in the making of consumer law in Europe: Guido Alpa, Ludwig Krämer, Ewa Letowska, Hans-W Micklitz, Klaus Tonner, Iain Ramsay, and Thomas Wilhelmsson, supported by the younger generation Aneta Wiewiórowska Domagalska, Mateusz Grochowski, and Koen Docter, who reconstructs the history of BEUC. Niklas Olsen and Thomas Roethe analyse the construction of this policy field from a historical and sociological perspective.
This book offers a unique opportunity to understand a legal and political field, that of consumer law and policy, which plays a fundamental role in our contemporary societies.