Orgalime comments on the Commission Green paper on policy options for progressing towards a European Contract Law – Comm (2010) 348

Published: 31 January 2011

Policies & Issues: Legal

Orgalime has followed and contributed for many years to the European Contract Law debate. With regard to the Commission Green Paper on the way forward, Orgalime supports two suggestions, namely the publication of the results of the expert group (Option 1) and the creation of an 'official toolbox' (Option 2), provided certain rules are respected and the toolbox serves to improve the coherence of European legislation.

For all other options presented in the Green Paper, which suggest developing an obligatory or optional 28th contract law regime, Orgalime sees no added value or improvement of the status-quo for the B-2-B area. We feel that the starting point of the Green Paper, namely believing that different contract laws create significant problems in cross-border trade, is not correct. For decades, companies have been making cross-border sales on a daily basis, most of the time without any legal assistance. Many sectors of the engineering industries have an export quota as high as 80% which for us is sufficient proof that cross-border trade functions very well, despite differences in the national law systems.

Thanks to the freedom of contract principle and to the possibility of using self-developed contracts or other standard contracts and general conditions, European engineering companies - of which the vast majority are SMEs - are coping very well with the different national legal systems.

We therefore do not see the need for any changes in the B-2-B area.

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