Volume 49 (2012) / Issue 1
The article explores the legal status of consumer ethnocentrism in the EU and how the three simultaneous crises of the present time (economic, food and climate change) challenge the EU Court's judgment in Buy Irish, which presents the foundation for uprooting negative consumer stereotypes towards products from other Member States and protectionism. Various national campaigns of EU Member States that try to raise consumer ethnocentrism are discussed in light of the established case law of the EU Court, thereby highlighting new circumstances, in which the principle of free movement of goods, particularly of food, is currently situated. In this respect, in a recent Green Paper on promotion of the tastes of Europe (COM (2011) 436) the Commission adopted an apparently new approach towards local and regional food markets, by expressly recognizing the importance of short distribution channels for national traditions, food security (and self-sufficiency) and combating climate change. This "new approach" could have considerable consequences for the legitimacy of national initiatives to promote domestic purchase, thereby compromising a thirty year old judgment - Buy Irish and free movement of goods in general.
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