The European Commission s recently published Action Plan on European Contract Law has re-fuelled the ongoing debate about the idea of a European Civil Code. Whatever its eventual economic, social, or cultural value, few doubt that the shape of the Civil Code, if and when it comes, will have been determined primarily by political considerations.
This book contains a collection of essays on the ideologies and power struggles that inform the effort to Europeanise private law. In addition to a manifesto emphasising the role of social and distributive justice, nine articles by prominent European academic jurists offer analytic perspectives that take account of such significant factors as the following:
the politics of the Action Plan process;
the notions of coherence, social values and national tradition;
extension of the European unification debate to property law;
a code for the ordinary working people;
the legal basis for a European Civil Code;
the constitutional process and the role of fundamental rights;
a European social model
With its broad scope and depth of insight, this informed and far-seeing collection makes a powerful contribution to the debate. It should not be overlooked by any scholar or practitioner concerned with the nature of private law in Europe.
These essays were originally written as papers presented at a conference held in Amsterdam in January 2005