Edited by Thomas Eger and Hans-Bernd Schäfer
Chapter 10: Private Law II: Contract
Fernando Gomez* 1 INTRODUCTION Under the heading “European private law” very different phenomena are grouped together. One may use the term to refer to the emergence and affirmation, mostly in the last couple of decades, of an important set of legal rules created by European institutions that would belong to what most would characterize as private law in the ordinary sense of the term in most legal systems. We find EU legislative action in areas of company law (probably the first to be set in motion), tort law (product liability, environmental liability, some areas of liability insurance), contract law (consumers’ rights and protection in multiple kinds of contractual transaction between consumers and firms), IP (copyright and related rights, trademarks and, to a lesser extent, patents), unfair competition law (advertising, commercial practices of firms vis-à-vis consumers) and also in private international law (the important Rome I and Rome II regulations, for instance). The bulk of these initiatives – though not all – have been undertaken under the umbrella of common market powers and policies of the EU. This would come as no surprise, because among the fundamental reasons for the existence of the European Union, and among the major sources of policies and activities, the establishment and implementation of an open common European market is for sure one of them.1 The notion of what constitutes the internal market makes it almost self-evident the existence of a close link between this goal and source of policies and private law rules. The concept of...
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