Theory and Practice of Constructing a Common Contract Law Terminology

Authors: Chiara Perfumi


Multilingualism constitutes a “fundamental EU principle” aiming to uphold democracy, transparency and the right to knowledge. Transposed into the market context, it thus affects each single contract in relation to the choice of its language, as well as the language of the applicable contract law representing an inevitable inner barrier for all the participants, either businesses or consumers, and thus calling for a need of harmonisation.

Aiming to contribute to the debate on the elaboration of a European contract law, this paper moves from the assumption that the convergence of national systems largely depends on the creation of a common European terminology. Given that this statement is commonly shared in theory, it has to be verified if it is actually received in practice.

It will therefore deal with a preliminary cross-analysis of the main texts currently under the evaluation of the EU Institutions, namely the Directive on consumer rights and the Proposal for a Regulation on an optional Common European Sales Law.

Despite the fact that several difficulties still affect the use of legal terms and/or concepts at EU law level, this first and brief attempt highlights a cautious raising of a shared technical language that has been consolidating in the on-going debate on the construction of an European contract law.