Harmonization of Laws
- Elgar European Law series
Chapter 12: Contracts
INTRODUCTION The Rome Convention In litigation relating to contracts, choice of the applicable substantive law is now regulated by the EC Convention, opened for signature at Rome on 19th June 1980, on the Law Applicable to Contractual Obligations (‘the Rome Convention’).1 This Convention is now in force in the first fifteen States to become Member States of the European Community.2 A Convention on the Accession of the ten new Member States was signed at Luxembourg on 14th April 2005.3 On 14th January 2003 the EC Commission issued a Green Paper on the conversion of the Rome Convention into a Community instrument and its modernization.4 On signing the Accession Convention on 14th April 2005, the Member States requested the Commission to submit, as soon as possible and at the latest by the end of 2005, a proposal for a Regulation on the law applicable to contractual obligations.5 Thus enhanced effectiveness and reform in this area may be imminent. The Rome Convention specifies, by Article 18, that, in its interpretation and application, regard should be had to the international character of its rules and to the desirability of achieving uniformity in their interpretation and 1 For the current text of the Rome Convention, as amended by the Accession Conventions of 1984, 1992 and 1996, see  OJ C27/34. The Convention is not based directly on Article 293 (ex Article 220) of the EC Treaty, but arose from a ‘voluntary’ decision of the Member States to attempt further harmonization in the sphere...
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