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EU Consumer Law and Human Rights$
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Iris Benöhr

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199651979

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199651979.001.0001

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Electronic Communication, Fundamental Rights Conflicts, and Consumer Participation

Electronic Communication, Fundamental Rights Conflicts, and Consumer Participation

Chapter:
(p.145) 6 Electronic Communication, Fundamental Rights Conflicts, and Consumer Participation
Source:
EU Consumer Law and Human Rights
Author(s):

Iris Benöhr

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199651979.003.0006

This chapter explores consumer protection in the telecommunications sector, taking a participatory and fundamental rights perspective. An introductory section describes how the EU policy in this area is slowly shifting from a competition-centred approach, to a stronger consumer-citizen focus, giving increasing importance to consumers’ access to universal services and to empowerment. The second section explores the role played by fundamental rights in this evolution, as for example the rights to information and to privacy are strengthened. ECJ case studies are then applied to exemplify the conflicts that may emerge between the consumers’ fundamental rights and other fundamental rights (such as the right to property), suggesting that a delicate balance will need to be drawn between these equally important rights. The third and final section analyses new tools to strengthen the regulatory involvement of consumers; for example, regulatory consultation mechanisms and the European Citizens’ Initiative.

Keywords:   Electronic communication, universal services, conflicting fundamental rights, participatory procedures

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