19 Maastricht J. Eur. & Comp. L. 3 (2012)

handle is hein.journals/maastje19 and id is 1 raw text is: GUEST EDITORIAL
THE PROPOSED COMMON
EUROPEAN SALES LAW:
HAVE THE RIGHT CHOICES BEEN MADE?
Introduction to a Special Issue
GARY Low* and JAN SMITS**
It is an oft-heard refrain that differences in contract law generate unnecessary
transaction costs for firms and legal uncertainty for consumers. The net effect of this
complex regulatory environment would be an unrealized potential of E 26 billion, or, as
European Commissioner Viviane Reding pointed out during a recent press conference,
the equivalent GDP of Lithuania.
To identify specific problems in contract law, as well as to determine the correct
course of action the European Union ought to take, the European Commission launched
a decade-long consultation process.' The academic community has been at the forefront
of this process, recently producing the voluminous Draft Common Frame of Reference2
and the Feasibility Study of the Expert Group on European Contract Law.3 With the
publication of the 2010 Green Paper on options towards a European contract law (the
2010 Green Paper),4 what started out as tentative political and academic gestures towards
harmonization in this area of law, have now geared towards legislative reality - this
is clear from the passage of the Consumer Rights Directive5 and, more recently, the
proposed Common European Sales Law (CESL).6
*    Assistant Professor of Law, Maastricht University.
*    Professor of European Private Law, Maastricht University.
1    Commission Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament on
European contract law, COM (2001) 398 final.
2    C. von Bar and E. Clive (eds.), Principles, Definitions and Model Rules of European Private Law - Draft
Common Frame of Reference (DCFR) (Sellier European Law Publishers, Munich 2009).
3    A European contract law for consumers and businesses: Publication of the results of the feasibility study
carried out by the Expert Group on European contract law for stakeholders' and legal practitioners'
feedback, http://ec.europa.eu/justice/contract/files/feasibility-study-final.pdf (last visited  on
26 February 2012).
4    Green Paper from the Commission on policy options for progress towards a European contract law for
consumers and businesses, COM (2010) 348 final.
5    Directive 2011/83/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 October 2011 on consumer
rights, [2011] L 304/64.
6    Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on a Common European
Sales Law, COM (2011) 635 final.

19 MJ 1 (2012)

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