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Hugh Collins argues that the European Union should develop a civil code to provide uniform rules for contracts, property rights and protection against civil wrongs, thus drawing together the differing national traditions with respect to the detailed regulation of civil society. The benefits of such a code would lie not so much in facilitating cross border trade, but in establishing foundations for a denser network of transnational relations of civil society, which in turn would help to overcome the present popular resistance to effective and functional political institutions at a European level.
These principled foundations for a more inclusive and less balkanised civil society in Europe also provide elements of a required European social model that offers necessary safeguards for consumers, workers and disadvantaged groups against the pressures of market forces in an increasingly global economic system.