European Citizenship, Fundamental Rights and Private Law: Towards a New Model of Social Inclusion

Authors: Federico Della Negra


The paper analyses the interplay between European regulatory private law and citizens’ rights. The financial and sovereign debt crisis has strongly weakened the confidence of the European citizens in the European Union. The Author argues that European regulatory contract law, conveyed by EU secondary law, constitutes a valuable tool to strengthen the citizens’ access to goods and services offered by the internal market. This hypothesis is supported by the analysis of recent developments of consumer and services law with regard to law-making and enforcement. In particular, the Court of Justice (ECJ) has assumed a prominent position in ensuring high standards of contractual protection for consumers, clients and users in mortgages and services markets (e.g. energy, telecoms). The high contractual protection of vulnerable parties does not only create the conditions for an effective functioning of internal market but it also grants access to essential goods and services.

Keywords: Union citizenship – European regulatory contract law – vulnerable consumer – access rights