European private law: A plea for a spontanous legal order

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This contribution focuses on European integration through private law. After a sketch of the existing European acquis in the field of the law of contract, tort and property, the question is discussed whether there is a need for harmonisation in view of the goals the European Union set itself. Subsequently, the question of how to design a future European private law is answered. In the field of contract law, the European Commission now follows a two-track policy it intends to draft a Common Frame of Reference CFR as well as furthering the debate on the possibility of an optional code. It is debated what the contents of these two instruments should be and how they should be created, but also the more fundamental question as to whether they will really contribute to the solving of the present problems with the European acquis is touched upon. Finally, the influence of Europe on national private law is looked at from a critical perspective. The author adopts the view that uniform private law should come about in a Hayekian way of a spontaneous legal order
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationMaastricht
PublisherFaculty of Law, Universiteit Maastricht
Number of pages38
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2006


  • Private law
  • European law

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