European contract law

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EESC opinion: European contract law

Key points:

In the Green Paper, the Commission proposes a number of different approaches aimed at increasing the coherence of contract law.

Of the various options proposed by the Commission, the EESC favours a hybrid option which takes account of the need to reduce costs and provide legally certain solutions by means of:

- a "toolbox" serving as a common frame of reference available to parties drawing up cross-border contracts, accompanied by,
- an optional regulatory regime establishing an "optional advanced new regime" (by means of an EU regulation) which could be used by the parties as a more favourable basis when entering into cross-border contracts. Such regulation shall not prevent any Member State from maintaining or introducing more stringent protective measures for consumers.

The Committee believes that the scope of the legal instruments should encompass cross-border commercial sale-of-goods contracts. For Business to Consumer (B2C) contracts, and those involving SMEs, the Committee considers that maximum effective protection in addition to legal certainty and safeguards for consumers must be secured.