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What Are the Principles of European Contract Law

In the European Union, contract law is a fundamental aspect of commercial activities. These laws are designed to govern and regulate contracts that are entered into by parties within the European Union. European contract law is based on principles that have been developed over time and are designed to ensure fairness and transparency in commercial transactions.

Here are some of the central principles of European contract law:

Freedom of contract: This principle allows parties to enter into any agreement that they see fit, as long as it is not against public policy or any other laws. Parties are free to negotiate the terms of their contract, the price, the scope of the work, and any other relevant details.

Good faith: This principle requires parties to act in good faith when entering into and performing contracts. This means that parties should not misrepresent information, engage in fraudulent behavior, or act in an unfair manner. Parties should also disclose any relevant information that the other party needs to know in order to make an informed decision.

Fairness and equality: European contract law requires that parties negotiate and enter into contracts on a level playing field. This means that any power imbalances between the parties should be addressed, and that weaker parties should be protected from exploitation.

Legal certainty: This principle requires that contracts be clear and unambiguous, and that the terms of the contract be enforceable by law. This ensures that parties can rely on the terms of their agreement, and that any disputes can be resolved through the legal system.

Performance and remedies: European contract law requires that parties fulfill the terms of their contract to the best of their abilities. If a party fails to perform as agreed, the other party may be entitled to remedies, such as damages or termination of the contract.


In summary, European contract law is a complex area that is governed by a set of interrelated principles. These principles are designed to ensure that parties can enter into contracts on a fair and equal basis, and that they can rely on the terms of their agreement. As a copy editor working with businesses in the European Union, it is important to be aware of these principles and how they apply to different types of contracts. By doing so, you can help your clients navigate the complex world of European contract law and ensure that their contracts are legally binding and enforceable.

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