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date: 25 May 2019

Abstract and Keywords

The gradual emergence of a European private law is one of the most significant contemporary legal developments. Comparative law scholarship has played an important role in this process; in turn, it has received a boost as a result of the ‘Europeanization of private law’ agenda. The present essay attempts to provide an overview of the new types of literature that have been created, of new perspectives that have been opened up, of new approaches that have been tried, and of the transnational networks that have been established. Within the traditional core areas of private law, contract law has been at the centre of attention. Apart from the many Directives, particularly in the field of consumer contract law, a prodigious number of reference texts has been produced and, for some time, a codification of European contract law appeared to be imminent. That plan has now collapsed, and the institutionalized ‘Europe’ is, at the moment, facing strong headwinds. One of the challenges faced by comparative scholarship consists in preserving the momentum that has been build up over the past three decades. The European Law Institute, founded in 2011, may emerge as an important platform to advance the Europeanization of private law through facilitating and stimulating transnational comparative study.

Keywords: acquis communautaire, codification, common core, contract law, Directives, European Sales Law, Europeanization, legal scholarship, Principles of European Contract Law, private law

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