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COPECL — Result In Brief

Project ID: 513351
Funded under: FP6-CITIZENS
Country: Germany

Private law goes pan-European

By gathering legal experts together and developing a common standard for private and civil law, the EU is facilitating business and commerce, harmonising law practices across the European bloc.
Private law goes pan-European
Articulating a common private law for the EU can help standardise and facilitate dealings with the civil legal system, both in the personal and business spheres. The EU-funded project 'Joint network on European private law' (Copecl) helped achieve this vision by developing the Draft Common Frame of Reference (DCFR) for European private law.

The DCFR is based on national, international and EU laws, containing input from over 150 comparative lawyers and representing a valuable resource for EU legislators, academicians and policymakers. The project network involved law practitioners and other stakeholders to ensure that the drafted laws meet their requirements and incorporate their input. Special experts also examined economic impact and philosophical implications of the laws in question, leading to the online publication of the final version of the DCFR in 2009.

Through Copecl, the EU has also aimed to upgrade contract law in the EU and establish an 'optional European contract law' based on the DCFR. The project team has fervently worked on this objective to overcome bottlenecks in the single market, making the Copecl network a united platform for developing European law. In 2010 this led to establishing a European Law Institute with researchers from over 100 leading research organisations in Europe, boosting the European Research Area (ERA) in law and legal science.

Overall, Copecl successfully elaborated the DCFR for European contract law, overcame research fragmentation in the ERA and provided support to legislators, lawyers and academics. It created a common frame of reference for European contract law and civil law, an accomplishment set to positively affect internal and external EU relationships, trade and business.

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