Contract law: Commission considers way forward
The European Commission carried out a public consultation on bringing more coherence to contract laws in Europe – the rules that apply to businesses and consumers buying and selling goods or services. The seven-month consultation was closed end of January 2011. The Commission will now examine the responses received and carefully evaluate all policy options on the basis of the results. A Commission proposal will be made in autumn 2011. The goal is to make it easier and less costly for businesses, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), to do business abroad and to enable consumers to reap the full benefit of the Single Market while maintaining or improving their protection.
The Commission launched the public consultation on 1 July 2010 in connection with a Green Paper on policy options for European Contract law. The Green Paper put forward a range of different policy options from the publication of (non-binding) model contract rules to the creation of a full-fledged European Civil Code, replacing all national rules on contracts. The Commission will present a follow-up measure to the consultation in the fourth quarter of 2011 on the basis of the public consultation’s results and following a thorough impact assessment.
The European Parliament is currently preparing a resolution in response to the Green Paper. Vice-President Reding will present the results of the consultation to Ministers over an informal lunch discussion with justice ministers at the Council of Ministers in June. For more information Green Paper on policy options for progress towards a European Contract Law for consumers and businesses.