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See detailTowards a European Consumer Construction Law?
Kohl, Benoît ULg

in International Construction Law Review (2010), 27(2), 211-241

If European action is necessary for the unification of liabilities in the European construction industry, it may be wiser to commence Community action by focusing on the specific interests of private ... [more ▼]

If European action is necessary for the unification of liabilities in the European construction industry, it may be wiser to commence Community action by focusing on the specific interests of private consumers rather than seeking to develop a European Code covering all aspects of private construction law. The aim of this paper is to explain my preference for this focused approach and, by comparing the current state of the Law in England and in France, to establish the points of convergence that could constitute the basis of European intervention in that field. I will specifically deal with the differing approaches taken by both countries to identical social problems. In conclusion, I suggest a dual approach to harmonisation in the housing construction sector. After having fixed, in a European legislative instrument, the objectives of the substantive minimal protection that every consumer should be able to enjoy across Europe, Member States should be encouraged to provide self-regulatory bodies – or potentially even one international self-regulatory body at the European level - for the attainment of these objectives. This “co-regulation” mechanism, applied to my comparative study of French and English consumer protection in the housing sector, suggests that very few modifications at a national level in both countries would be required to meet the suggested harmonisation. [less ▲]

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