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European Commission


Brussels, 11 October 2012

European Parliament Committee backs Common European Sales Law

European Commission Vice-President Viviane Reding today welcomed a vote by the European Parliament's Economic Affairs Committee (ECON) to support the Commission's proposals for a Common European Sales Law to facilitate cross-border trade in the Single Market (see IP/11/1175 and MEMO/11/680). The Committee voted to back the new optional contract rules for consumers and businesses in cross-border sales in its opinion on the proposed legislation.

The Commission's proposal of 11 October 2011 aims to help break down barriers to trade resulting from divergent national sales laws and give consumers more choice and protection when shopping across borders. It will facilitate trade by offering a single set of rules for cross-border contracts in all 27 EU countries. If traders offer their products on the basis of the Common European Sales Law, consumers would have the option of choosing a user-friendly contract law regime with a high level of protection with just one click of a mouse. Traders who are dissuaded from cross-border transactions due to contract law obstacles forgo at least €26 billion in intra-EU trade every year.

The Committee's opinion will help to establish a common position by the European Parliament. The Parliament's Legal Affairs (JURI) and Internal Market (IMCO) Committees are meanwhile preparing reports due to be finalised in the coming months.

"The optional Common European Sales Law will help kick-start the Single Market, Europe's engine for economic growth. It will provide firms with an easy and cheap way to expand their business to new markets in Europe while giving consumers better deals and a high level of protection," said Vice-President Viviane Reding, the EU's Justice Commissioner. "Instead of setting aside national laws, the European Commission is taking an innovative approach based on free choice, subsidiarity and competition.

"The Commission came forward with this proposal in response to a request from the European Parliament, so I would like to thank the Economic Affairs Committee for its support, in particular the rapporteur Marianne Thyssen MEP. I hope the Legal Affairs and Internal Market Committees will now come to similar conclusions in the coming weeks."

For more information

Press pack

European Commission – Common European Sales Law website:

Homepage of Viviane Reding, Vice-President of the European Commission and EU Commissioner for Justice:

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