The Application of Foreign Law in European Private International Law: Reflections from a French Perspective On 16 January 2014, a symposium of the German Council of Private International Law took place in honour of the 80th birthday of Hans Jürgen Sonnenberger. This article is based on a presentation given at that symposium. Its purpose is to formulate, as far as the scope of application of the Private International Law of the EU is concerned, proposals for harmonizing the application of foreign law by the national courts of the Member States. First, it provides an overview of the position in France and comes to the conclusion that the French case law is not completely satisfactory. Secondly, regarding the mandatory or facultative nature of conflict-of-law rules, it proposes that a clear distinction should be made between the judge and the parties. Conflict-of-law rules should always be applied ex officio by the judge, whereas the parties should have the possibility in the course of the proceedings to choose the lex fori. The limits of party autonomy are defined according to two different models which both might be appropriate. Regarding the ascertainment of foreign law, the article advocates for better judicial cooperation especially within the European Judicial Network.