Contracts are essential for running businesses and for concluding purchases by consumers. They formalise an agreement between parties and can cover a broad range of matters, including the sale of goods and associated services such as repairs and maintenance. The fragmentation of contract laws contributes to higher costs, increased legal uncertainty for businesses and lower consumer confidence in the internal market.This optional European contract law would be an alternative to the existing national contract laws and would be available in all languages. It could apply in cross-border contracts only, or in both cross-border and domestic contracts. It would have to guarantee a high level of consumer protection and legal certainty throughout the life cycle of a contract.