European Private Law Forum

EPL Forum Projects and Related Links


With the establishment of the European Private Law Forum, the Department gives more emphasis in its research, teaching, publications and further activities to a field, which has gained considerable momentum in recent years and does so building on prior research and present resources.

The Forum's research activities will focus on the constitutional dimensions of the private law Europeanisation process; the emergence of transnational private governance arrangements and the role of non-governmental actors in law-making processes; the relationship between market regulation and the Europeanisation of private law; the analysis of external factors affecting the integration process of European private law (i.e. globalisation, private and public actors), and the role of the European judiciary in the Europeanisation process.

The Europeanisation of private law is often neglected in the intense debates over the future European Constitution or the modes of governance in the EU, and vice versa: the private law communities rarely enter the neighbouring arenas.

We believe that the embeddedness of private law in the European policy, in particular the constitutional significance of the European Treaties, the Human Rights Convention and the forthcoming Constitutional Convention, as well as the implications of the diversity of regulatory and institutional traditions and practices, are widely underestimated in their importance for the Europeanisation process.

The growing importance of the judiciary in the development of private law is an uncontested phenomenon in all national private law systems as is the constitutive role played by the ECJ in European integration through law.

The widening and deepening of the Europeanisation process, however, is challenging the functioning of the judiciary at both the European and the national level. This issue may become even more important should the present efforts to codification of areas Europe's private law prove successful.

An extended research agenda, 'European Private Law and the Constitutionalisation of the EU', was submitted by the EUI to the Commission as an Expression of Interest for a Network of Excellence under the Sixth Framework Programme of the European Community for Research, Technological Development and Demonstration. The Forum cooperates with academic institutions in Italy, Germany, France and the UK and with two transnational academic research groups.

The Forum will not confine itself to fundamental research. In fact, its first project, supported by the Grotius Programme for Judicial Co-operation in Civil Matters, is a comparative and interdisciplinary assessment of national tenancy laws and procedures in the EU. This project is pragmatic in its practical ambitions but still explores issues of principle importance, in particular the potential of the 'open method co-ordination' in a field where a harmonisation of law cannot be envisaged.

The Forum's focus on Europe does not exclude the discussion of general issues of private law, comparative law, private international law, and legal method. What the Forum seeks to emphasize is the importance, theoretical and practical, of the Europeanisation process for substantive law and the transnational disciplines.

Directors of the Forum are Profs. Fabrizio Cafaggi and Hans-W. Micklitz. Prof. Micklitz is acting as Scientific Coordinator and inquiries should be addressed to him.


Outcome of the European Private Law Forum project

Page last updated on 03 July 2019

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