Prefaces, happily, are written last when the difficult work is already done. We only take the occasion to say a word about the timing of this project, and to thank those who contributed to it.
As the reader will appreciate, a case study of thirteen European jurisdictions involving the collaboration of twenty-two scholars takes considerable time to complete. This collective enterprise began more than six years ago. The selection of our reporters and contributors, the development of our questionnaire and the refinement of our working method were all settled and agreed upon in our initial meetings in Trento, Italy in 1996. First drafts of the national reports were written and completed in the period 1997–9, and then began a process of study, editing and redrafting which continued for several years thereafter. The introductory chapters, as well as the editors’ comparative remarks, were not completed until 2001. Even if this delay could be considered normal, we recognize that it entails the risk that perhaps some recent information or writings in a particular European system may not have been cited. Nevertheless, the general editors of this volume, together with the national reporters, can assure the reader that no material changes in the law have been omitted and that the work is generally current and reliable. For example, important recent developments, such as passage of the Act to modernize the Law of Obligations in Germany (effective 2002) and the most recent decisions of the European Court of Justice, have been taken into account and were added. Thus we are confident that the essential picture of pure economic loss in Europe has been captured.
It remains only to acknowledge our gratefulness to those who have made this book possible.
We express our deepest thanks to all our national reporters and contributors for undertaking this work in the spirit of international