Table of Contents

Research Handbook on EU Consumer and Contract Law

Research Handbook on EU Consumer and Contract Law

Research Handbooks in European Law series

Edited by Christian Twigg-Flesner

Research Handbook on EU Consumer and Contract Law takes stock of the evolution of this fascinating area of private law to date and identifies key themes for future development of the law and research agendas. The Handbook is divided into three parts: first, authors examine a range of cross-cutting issues relevant to both consumer and contract law. The second part discusses specific topics on EU Consumer Law, and the final part focuses on a number of important subjects which remain current for the development of EU Contract Law.

Chapter 19: The story of EU contract law – from 2001 to 2014

Hugh Beale

Subjects: law - academic, consumer law, european law, law of obligations


2001 is a significant date in the development of EU contract law because in that year the European Commission published its first consultation paper dealing with issues of contract law generally, as opposed to measures dealing with consumers or aimed at specific issues affecting business-to-business (B2B) contracts. 2014 was the year in which the Commission withdrew its proposal for a Common European Sales Law (CESL), quite possibly signalling the end of any interest in any general form of European contract law. Section II of this chapter will give an overview of developments up to and including the publication of the Draft Common Frame of Reference (DCFR) in 2009. This part will be brief because the story of the DCFR, and of the work done before 2001, has already been told elsewhere. Section III will describe the development of the CESL proposal. It will explain the way in which the proposal was developed from the DCFR and other sources; the aims and assumptions of the Expert Group which made the first draft; and the additions and changes made by the Commission after the Experts had completed their work. Section IV will give an explanation of the CESL proposal as a whole. More detailed analysis and evaluation of particular issues will be found in some of the other chapters in this volume. Finally, Section V will outline the fate that befell the CESL proposal.

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