Formally refered to a European community agreement, the Rome Convention on the Law Applicable to Contractual Obligations (1980 OJ L 266/1), known as Rome I, but now refers to the Regulation (EC) No 593/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 June 2008 on the law applicable to contractual obligations (Rome I). In addition to the old Rome Convention, Regulation (EC) No 864/2007 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 July 2007 on the law applicable to non-contractual obligations (Rome II) has also been adopted.
In general Rome I seeks to settle what law will apply, where there is no choice of law provision in the contract. In such circumstances it governs what law will apply to contracts agreed between parties in more than one EU member state, and broadly requires that the law of the country with which a contractual obligation is most closely related shall be applied. However, it also includes two major exceptions, limiting the applicability of contractual choice of law clauses that would deprive a party of rights under consumer protection law or employment law.
Rome II seeks to settle waht law applies within the EU to non-contract disputes, i.e., most torts (but not libel/defamation), breaches of legal rights (delicts), industrial actions and worker rights, unfair competition, product liability and environmental damage. It does not cover family law.