The Experiences, Methods, Objectives and Perspectives of Unification of Private Law in the European Union

21 Pages Posted: 21 Apr 2006

Date Written: April 18, 2006


I would like to present general information concerning unification of private law. I will consider its experiences, methods, objectives, and perspectives.

I will ask four important questions with regard to the categories mentioned above: - How did the idea of unification of private law in Europe begin and what has been done so far? - What are the methods of possible unification of private law in Europe and what Europe can learn from the American and Canadian experiences? - Why should private law be unified in the European Union? - The plans of the common European Civil Code or Common Frame of Reference - are they the future or the utopia?

My thesis is that, regardless of many significant differences, unification of private law (as for its content and form) in Europe is possible and worth achieving. There are many arguments supporting this statement, for example: making law more comprehensible for citizens, building stronger identification with the federation, improving law by choosing the best solutions tested in different jurisdictions. I realize the unification is to take a long time. I believe it is possible to achieve it by taking small steps, starting from unifying particular legal instruments. First steps have already been taken. Commercial law is significantly unified (in some parts even not only in a regional but a global scale - like Vienna Convention on the International Sale of Goods), the Principles of the European Contract Law are also ready.

The unification of private law would provide all EU citizens with the same legal rules that could serve them to solve everyday problems regardless of their place of residence. It would also facilitate the migration as well as build legal security and stability within the EU. All these and many others arguments encourage me to promote the unification of the European private law and to examine the possibilities and methods to achieve this objective. I hope that it is not utopia, but the future of Europe.

Keywords: private law, European private law, European Civil Code, unification, codification, harmonization

JEL Classification: K0, K10, K30, K40, K19, K39, K49

Suggested Citation

Osajda, Konrad, The Experiences, Methods, Objectives and Perspectives of Unification of Private Law in the European Union (April 18, 2006). Available at SSRN: or

Konrad Osajda (Contact Author)

University of Warsaw ( email )

Krakowskie Przedmiescie 26/28
Warszawa, 00-927

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