Common Frame of Reference (CFR), the EU Consumer ACQUIS and European Property Law
17 Pages Posted: 18 Jun 2010
Date Written: June 18, 2010
When, at the end of 2007, the outline interim edition of the Draft Common Frame of Reference (DCFR) on European Contract Law was presented to the European Commission and at the beginning of 2008 to the European Parliament, the work of the joined network on European Private Law on the review of European Contract became public. From the very beginning of the European Commission’s initiatives to revise European private law, as can best be seen from the Green Paper of the European Commission on European Contract Law and the revision of the acquis: the way forward, the focus has been almost exclusively on contract law. However, already in the early proposals of the European Commission, aspects of property law have also been considered. These aspects concerned movable property law in the form of retention of title and possibly property security rights in respect to movables. Property law is part of the internal market. Freedom of ownership forms the basis of a free market economy, including the internal market of the European Union. The free movement of goods, persons, services and capital all require a well functioning property law that does not impose obstacles. If any of these obstacles are found, they can be removed through internal market law, even if these rules are national mandatory property law rules.
The publication of the results of the Study Group on a European Civil Code and the Research Group on Existing EC Contract Law brings the need to take a closer look at some of the effects contract law has on the law of property. First, after a short discussion of the interrelatedness of contract and property, a closer look at the CFR from a property law point of view is taken. Second, the principles underlying the CFR are brought into relation with general principles underlying property law, which in most legal systems are the same as the principles underlying contract law. The analysis of this ‘core’ of the CFR will bring a short analysis of the property aspects that the CFR deals with and the direct effects on the law of property. Finally, an attempt is made to make the indirect influences of the CFR on the law of property visible. This is done through a short quantitative and qualitative survey of the existing EU Consumer Law Acquis that underlies the work of the Research Group on Existing EC Contract Law.
Keywords: European Property Law, Common Frame of Reference, Consumer Acquis, Property Law
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