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Smart Regulation and European Private Law – What linkages?

  • Kristel De Smedt (a1)


Private law in Europe has undergone a significant transformation during the last two decades. From a branch of law that was scarcely affected by EU legislation, it has become the object of considerable harmonisation measures to facilitate free trade and protect European citizens. Simultaneously, there has been an increased attention for ‘better regulation’ in the EU. The efforts of the European Commission to improve regulatory quality and to reduce administrative burdens for industry have promoted a regulatory environment in which formal intervention is more limited and self–regulation and co–regulation have emerged as alternatives. The University of Maastricht organized a workshop on ‘Smart Regulation of European Private Law’ in January 2013 with the aim to assess how the Smart Regulation agenda has shaped/can shape European private law; investigate the contribution of different methodological approaches to achieve ‘smart regulation’; and explore opportunities and threats for European private law, in particular in respect with developments in self–regulation and co–regulation. This report shortly summarises the discussions.



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1 Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions, EU Regulatory Fitness, COM(2012) 746 final, Strasbourg, 12.12.2012

2 Prof. Dr. Jan Smits is Professor of European Private Law at Maastricht University and research professor of Comparative Legal Studies in the University of Helsinki.

3 Dr. Andrea Renda is a Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS) and Jean Monnet Fellow at the European University Institute in Fiesole.

4 Prof. Dr. Claudio Radaelli is Professor of Political Science at the University of Exeter.

5 Prof. Dr. Alberto Alemanno is Associate Professor of Law at HEC Paris.

6 Prof. Dr. Linda Senden is Professor of European Law at Utrecht University.

7 Prof. Dr. Anne Keirse is Professor of Private Law at Utrecht University.

8 Dr. Kristel De Smedt is Assistant Professor, Department of Methods and Foundations of Law, Maastricht University

9 Prof. Dr. Alessio M Pacces is Associate Professor of Law and Economics at the Erasmus School of Law in Rotterdam.

10 From a Law and Economics perspective, private interest distortions might result in overregulation or underregulation which is not economically efficient, or it might result in regulation that serves a certain interest group, rather than the public interest.

11 Prof. Dr. Geert van Calster is Professor of Law at the University of Leuven.

12 Dr. Ann-Sophie Vandenberghe is Assistant Professor of Law and Economics at Erasmus University Rotterdam.

13 Prof. Dr. Fabrizio Cafaggi is Professor of Comparative Law at the European University Institute.

* She organised the Workshop on ‘Smart Regulation of European Private Law’ on 18 January 2013.

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Smart Regulation and European Private Law – What linkages?

  • Kristel De Smedt (a1)


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