Edited by Hans-W. Micklitz and Fabrizio Cafaggi
Chapter 1: Towards a European Private Law? The Common Frame of Reference in the Conflict between EC Law and National Laws
1. Towards a European private law? The Common Frame of Reference in the conflict between EC law and national laws Alessandro Somma 1. ACADEMICS AND STAKEHOLDERS IN THE MAKING OF EUROPEAN PRIVATE LAW About three years ago, the European Commission appointed an international network of research groups (Joint Network on European Private Law) to develop ‘a Common Frame of Reference for European Contract Law’ (Cfr), expected to be presented in the form of a ‘draft’ (Dcfr). The aim is to provide ‘principles, definitions and model rules’, identified by ‘taking into account national laws’, including both case law and established practice, as well as ‘the EC acquis and relevant international instruments’ (FP 6 – Contract n. 513351). The Cfr will assist in the improvement of ‘the quality of legislation already in place’ towards ‘a modernisation of existing instruments’ and may form the basis of an ‘optional instrument not limited to particular sectors’, which would provide parties to a contract with ‘a modern body of rules particularly adapted to cross-border contracts in the internal market’ (COM(2001)398 final and COM(2003)68 final). Its immediate purpose is to act as a ‘guide or tool box’ for the EC legislator in the revision of the acquis (Von Bar et al., 2008a, p. 37). The Cfr will also contribute to the making of a European legal science, something which is considered by many an essential condition for the development of European private law. The first results are now available in an interim edition (Draft...
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