Answer to Written Question: Making contract law more European

(Source: European Parliament)

EN

E-001793/2021

Answer given by Mr Reynders

on behalf of the European Commission

(4.6.2021)

The Commercial Agents Directive[1] harmonises the contractual rights and obligations of commercial agents in the EU. The 2015 evaluation of the Directive by the Commission services concluded that the Directive is still fit for purpose and stakeholders expressed their support for maintaining the Directive as it is. The Commission is not aware of any application problems as regards this Directive.

In order to remove obstacles to cross-border purchase contracts, the Commission proposed in 2011 an optional harmonisation of contract law with the proposal for a Regulation on a Common European Sales Law[2]. While the European Parliament adopted amendments in first reading, the proposal could not find sufficient support in the Council and was ultimately withdrawn.

As an alternative, the Commission adopted in 2015 two proposals for Directives on digital contracts. The Digital Content Directive[3] and the Sale of Goods Directive[4] were adopted by the European Parliament and the Council in May 2019; they shall apply from 1 January 2022. Both Directives as well as ongoing Commission work on contract law are part of the larger Commission priorities of promoting the twin digital and green transition, among others also by providing the adequate contract law framework.


[1] Council Directive 86/653/EEC of 18 December 1986 on the coordination of the laws of the Member States relating to self-employed commercial agents, OJ L 382, 31.12.1986, p. 17-21.

[2] COM(2011) 635.

[3] Directive (EU) 2019/770 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 May 2019 on certain aspects concerning contracts for the supply of digital content and digital services, OJ L 136, 22.5.2019, p. 1-27.

[4] Directive (EU) 2019/771 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 May 2019 on certain aspects concerning contracts for the sale of goods, OJ L 136, 22.5.2019, p. 28-50.

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