Everybody knows that the quickest way to go from Florence to Geneva is to fly by plane. Others go the long way, over the Alps, through snow covered passes. Once upon a time, Elephants attempted an impossible route, and the feat is still discussed nearly two thousand years later. They were unprepared and their thick hides did not protect them from the cold. Yet their leader Hannibal had a dream and he accomplished it.

The route chosen to harmonize Private International Law is just as difficult, but Private International lawyers tend to be dreamers, who luckily benefit from the very strong will power of the European Commission. The work to be done is still considerable, in many fields. The European Community has not yet achieved its aim, but perhaps this aim is not yet clearly defined. The European Community must choose between harmonizing the interplay of national legal systems, in other words coordinating legal systems, or creating an internal conflicts rule system specific to the European internal market.