The ways in which the worlds of European law and arbitration coincide remains a fascinating issue. Instead of extensively outlining the general principles of this subtle interaction, this article mainly focuses on the balance between party autonomy, arbitrator's authority and European public policy as looked at from the concrete perspective of one EU-member state, notably Belgium. The author also reveals how the European consumer policy clearly and directly led to the realization of bodies for consumer arbitration in Belgium that live up to a high standard of efficiency and fairness.
This article examines the points where substantive European community law and national—specifically Belgian—arbitration law meet. The analysis covers party autonomy in defining the powers of arbitrators and the role of the judiciary in enforcing European law.1 It also addresses consumer arbitration and the degree to which procedural recommendations made by the European Commission (EC) have been met by Belgian consumer arbitration institutions.