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An interim outline edition of the (academic) Common Frame of Reference has been recently published. It is difficult to predict the political use to which the CFR will be put, although it was the European Commission who entrusted it to a research network of excellence. Nevertheless, it will certainly become the cornerstone of the new European private law. Two strong reasons support this statement. On the one hand, over one hundred of outstanding European scholars have been engaged to this project. On the other hand, the CFR has tackled extensively some intricate matters. For the first time the European legal community, and indeed the global legal community, has a body of authentically European provisions, suitable for adoption as national law or capable of inspiring amendments of national law. Maybe a European regulation of (some aspects of) sale or tort law could be anticipated, but a systematic body of rules on lease of movables, donation or transfer of movables was hardly foreseeable. This does not mean that the CFR casts aside other mechanisms of approximation of the European national laws, in particular spontaneous harmonization. A polyedric approach is still necessary to complete the Europeanization of private law.
This book brings together the papers presented at the 2007 conference on European private law organised by the University of Lleida on the occasion of the conferral of a doctorate honoris causa upon Reinhard Zimmermann. Professor Zimmerman’s acceptance speech is followed by contributions intended to attest to Reinhard Zimmermann as motivator of the scientific quest that has inspired the development of the new ius commune europaeum. The other papers deal with various substantive aspects of the Draft of the Common Frame of Reference prepared by the Study Group and the Acquis Group on behalf of the European Commission.