European Contract Law (Green Paper)

The aim of this Green Paper is to outline options for developing a European contract law (available in all official languages). To this end, the Commission presents for discussion various options for an “instrument of European contract law”. By this it means a construct of EU contract laws which needs further developing in particular with regard to the degree of its legally binding nature (legal form), the regulation radius (material scope) and the applicability to contract relations that do not cross borders.


The development of a European contract law boosts the internal market. In the medium or long term a drop in transaction costs can be expected. EU contract law should be adopted in the form of a regulation. As the design of EU contract law is likely to provoke strong opposition, an optional EU contract law is the only politically enforceable option.