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  • Print publication year: 2016
  • Online publication date: September 2018

Chapter 6 - Multilevel Governance and Pluralist Perspectives on the Development of the Law on STCs and European Private Law



The case studies have focussed on the development of the law on STCs in the German and Dutch legal order through codifications, blanket clauses and general principles. In the development of this area of law, interdependence has become apparent. Is the success of the German regime on STCs reflected in sufficient interaction between interdependent actors, in accordance with multilevel governance insights, and can the high quality of the German law on STCs also be attributed to the coexistence of actors, in accordance with pluralist perspectives? Conversely, can the problems in the Dutch law on STCs be traced to a lack of interaction between interdependent actors, in accordance with discourse on multilevel governance? Can its strong points also be attributed to the coexistence of actors, in accordance with pluralist arguments?

This chapter will consider the findings of the case studies in the light of multilevel governance and pluralist perspectives more generally and ask whether the coexistence of actors in the development of European private law is, theoretically, more generally problematic or beneficial.

Paragraph 6.2. will turn to multilevel governance perspectives and paragraph 6.3 will discuss pluralist perspectives. Paragraph 6.4. will draw a conclusion and sketch the outlay of the book, highlighting what questions will be considered in the light of the findings of the case studies.

Multilevel governance perspectives

The case studies have indicated that interdependence has developed and will likely become more visible as the aims of national and European actors diverge more clearly. In accordance with debate on multilevel governance more generally, actors are no longer able to independently safeguard the comprehensibility of the law through the use of national techniques.

The case studies support the view that the aims of European and national actors diverge, as national actors generally do not prioritise further harmonisation of national private law. The difference between European and German actors is most outspoken as German actors clearly and consistently target maintaining the quality of national law. The aims of national and European state actors diverge especially if state actors do not perceive problems in the law, both in German and Dutch legal order. Notably, despite criticism at the national level, Dutch actors have not aimed to critically consider the quality of the law.

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