MEPLI Roundtable on Smart Regulation of European Private Law

MEPLI’s first roundtable (June 2011) was on an evergreen topic – methodology in European property law. Its second (Dec 2o11) dealt with the proposed Common European Sales Law, which had (then) just been published. The third (June 2012) was on choice and competition in international sales law. The topics chosen were well within the realm of private law. MEPLI’s most recent roundtable (Oct 2012), hosted jointly with MCEL, departs from its comfort zone to consider the European public/private divide. Our next conference is along the same theme, and may appeal to both public and private lawyers alike.

Organised by Dr Kristel de Smedt, it is a full-day conference entitled ‘Smart Regulation of European Private Law”, taking place on 18 January 2003 at the Maastricht Law Faculty. As usual, attendance is free but please register to k.desmedt[at] with your name and designation by 11 January 20013. This is since space is limited. 


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 in order to achieve uniformity in the laws of the member states to facilitate free trade and protect European citizens.  Simultaneously, in the past decade, there has been an increased attention for ‘better regulation’ in the EU, inspired by similar and earlier attempts in the US. The term better regulation is vague, but can be understood as a desire to improve the quality of legislation by better evaluating its likely economic, social and environmental impacts and to achieve a ‘simplified’ regulatory environment. The efforts of the European Commission to improve legislation and to reduce administrative burdens for industry have lead to a regulatory environment, in which formal intervention is more limited and self-regulation and co-regulation have emerged as alternatives. The goal of this workshop is to assess how the better regulation agenda has shaped/can shape European private law, to assess the contribution of different approaches to achieve ‘better regulation’ and to assess opportunities and threats for European private law, in particular in respect with developments in self-regulation and co-regulation.


9.30-10.00:         Coffee and registration

10.00- 10.15:     Welcome and Introduction

10.15-10.30:      The goals of European Private Law – Prof Jan Smits 

10.30-10.45:      Smart regulation of EU private law and the contribution of Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA) – Dr A Renda

10.45- 11.15:     Discussion

11.15-11.30:      Coffee and tea

11.30- 11.45:     Smart Regulation and Behavioral Research – Prof. Dr. A. Alemanno

11.45-12.00:      Smart regulation: the private abuse of the public interest – Dr. Kristel De Smedt 

12.00-12.30:      Discussion

12.30-13.30:      Lunch

13.30-13.45:      New instruments for better regulation of private law: soft law, the ultimate solution? – Prof. dr. Linda Senden and Prof. dr. Anne Keirse

13.45-14.00:      What have policy-makers learned? Evaluating the performance of regulatory policy. A political science perspective. –  Prof. dr. C. Radaelli

14.00-14.30:      Discussion

14.30-14.45:      Regulatory contracts: recasting the debate on European regulatory instruments –  Prof. dr. F. Cafaggi

14.45-15.00:      Case-study: smart regulation of consumer law.  ‘Smart or smirk? The regulation of nanotechnology. – Prof G van Calster

15.00-15.30:      Discussion

15.30-15.45:      Case-study: smart regulation in the financial sector –  Prof. dr. A. Pacces.

15.45-16.15:      Case-study: ‘Regulating the European market for contract law: harmonization or standardization?’ –  Dr. Ann-Sophie Vandenberghe. 

16.15-16.30:      Discussion

16.30-16.45:      Conclusions

16.45:                     Drinks


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  1. MEPLI Roundtable on Smart Regulation of European Private Law | Private Law Theory - Obligations, property, legal theory - [...] “MEPLI’s first roundtable (June 2011) was on an evergreen topic – methodology in European property law. Its second (Dec…

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