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Distributive Effects and EU Private Law: Justificatory Practices of EU Institutions in a Constitutional, Methodological and Communicative Perspective


The project examines the role of distributive justice claims in the official discourse of EU private law. EU private law traditionally encompasses a series of Directives and Regulations enacted in order to protect consumers and employees, and the related case law of the Court of Justice of the EU. The project focuses on the use in official EU documents, such as the Commission's policy statements, impact assessment reports, preambles to EU legislative acts or judgments of the Court of Justice, of arguments focusing on the presence or absence of distributive effects. By examining the justificatory practices of Union law-making institutions the project will establish what force is ascribed to different types of arguments and explain attitudes of Union institutions by reference to four groups of factors: the proclaimed and the implicit Union values, especially those of direct relevance to EU private law, the constitutional set-up of EU private law, the methodology of distributional analysis, and the intended rhetorical effects of the discourse. The project's objective is to assess whether EU private law embraces or resists distributional analysis and whether distributive effects play a positive or a negative justificatory function. The project will explain the connection between the EU's constitutional and institutional arrangement for the creation and implementation of EU private law, including Union's fundamental constitutional principles (conferral, subsidiarity, proportionality, protection of fundamental rights and the free movement), the values and principles underlying EU private law, and national discursive practices, foundational assumptions of national private law, and prevalent traditions of legal reasoning, on the one hand, and the place and effects of distributive justice claims in EU private law, on the other. In this way it aims to contribute to the understanding of the conceptual structure of EU private law and of the values it promotes.

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Call for proposal

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Via Dei Roccettini 9
50014 Fiesole
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 249 242,80
Administrative Contact
Serena Scarselli (Mrs.)