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Latest news (April 2008)

The Academy of European Law (www.era.int) has held a conference on the Draft Common Frame of Reference. You can read Diana's speech on 'Expectations for the Final CFR' here.

Expectations for the Final Common Frame of Reference

The Contract Law Project Team

In March 2006 the European Parliament adopted a report, 'European Contract Law and the revision of the acquis: the way forward'. Diana Wallis was the draftsperson for the opinion of the internal market and consumer protection committee.

The final report on Contract Law instructed the Committee on Legal Affairs and the Committee on Internal Market to continually follow the work of the Commission, and where appropriate to issue opinions on the results regularly issued by the Commission.

Accordingly, a parliamentary project team has been set up in order to deal with this long term project. The project team, which reflects the enhanced cooperation between IMCO and JURI, is composed of all the shadow Rapporteurs and will meets regularly. The Working Group has agreed with the European Commission to give each other the status of an observer, so that Parliament's representatives could be present at the CFR workshops and Commission's representatives at the Working Groups' meetings.

The aim of the project team is to look at the content of the work carried out by the Commission, the research groups and the Network and to provide political guidance.


This initiative is a long going project aiming at making European contract law more coherent. The Commission is thinking of a 'soft law' instrument: a common frame of reference, also described as a toolbox which will contain coherent definitions for several sectoral instruments. The project finds its genesis in consumer law and the Common Framework of Reference and goes hand in hand with the review of the EU consumer protection legislation.

The European Common Frame of Reference and the review of the consumer acquis are the biggest project facing the European legislator in the field of civil and commercial law. Done correctly, they could achieve an enormous step forward for the EU in better law-making but there are many tensions in the processes that desperately need to be resolved.

In January 2008 the academic Draft Common Frame of Reference was presented by the Study Group on a European Civil Code and the Research Group on Existing EC Private Law ('the Acquis Group'). The publication is an important milestone in the development of better, more coherent legislation in the area of European contract law. A more detailed, annotated version will be published in the near future, featuring the academics' notes and references to the source materials.

Diana speaks on the launch of the Academic Draft Common Frame of Reference

Details on obtaining a copy of the Draft Common Frame of Reference can be found here.


Rule of enhanced cooperation between committees (rules of procedure of the European Parliament)

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