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EU Private Law

Anatomy of a Growing Legal Order

Book | 1st edition 2021 | Jürgen Basedow

“Professor Basedow offers an original and thought-provoking account of the emerging principles of EU private law. The EU has intervened in specific, typically detailed ways across a range of topics within private law. But this does not create a distinct EU-level private law. Instead by systematic, thorough and original analysis, Basedow shows how coherent themes and principles shape the specific contributions of the EU to Member State private laws. These values are not only market-based, but social and ethical. He is forthright in criticising lack of clarity and incoherence where he finds it. But he also offers a sense of direction for how the EU should undertake its interventions in private law. The work shows a breadth of knowledge of Member State laws as well as of the range of EU legislation, case law and soft law, presented in a clear and succinct manner. EU Private Law is a landmark work which will be a reference point for EU lawyers and national lawyers alike.”
-- John Bell, Emeritus Professor of Law, University of Cambridge, 2021

‘It is hard not to see that, at least in the early days of European integration, the vast majority of private law scholars did not fully recognise the significance of this process. It can also be said that lawyers specialising in Union law did not sufficiently perceive the implications of this process for the actors operating within the internal market, i.e. for the situations that were traditionally regulated by the private law of the Member States. Such mutual myopia was surprising, insofar as areas such as the internal market were situated at the heart of both European law and private law.

The book, EU Private Law. Anatomy of a Growing Legal Order, by Professor Jürgen Basedow fills an extremely important gap in the interplay between European Law and private law. His analyses are not focused on the “Europeanisation” of particular domains of private law – issues that have already been the subject of much scrutiny in legal writings. Instead, Professor Basedow provides readers with an exceptional overview of how European integration affects private law in general. He stresses the importance of the protection of fundamental rights and the need to strike the appropriate balance between them. This has repercussions for the entire methodology of private law and leads to the emergence of – as the author defines - a “growing legal order” of EU private law.
Professor Jürgen Basedow is one of a very few scholars who are able to not only identify new phenomena in legal science, but also make concrete proposals and offer an appropriate legal framework that would meet the needs of contemporary challenges. His interdisciplinary approach is such that his new book should be of particular significance for lawyers specialising in EU law or in private law, no matter whether they are academics or legal practitioners.’
-- Maciej Szpunar, First Advocate General, 2021

EU law covers numerous sectors of private law and is still expanding. Due to its fragmentary nature, most legal literature addresses specific areas such as EU labour law, EU company law, EU private international law, EU consumer law, etc. In contrast, this book presents an innovative approach in its analysis of EU private law, considering its continuous expansion as an ongoing process and interrogating some central questions: What is private law in the framework of the EU? How does EU private law relate to traditional concepts of private law? What is the impact on horizontal relations of the law of the Union which was established with a view to the integration of peoples in Europe? Is the frequent reference to the policy orientation of EU law sufficient to overcome the differences between public and private law?

Like the growth rings of a tree the numerous acts and judgments of EU private law feed from the trunk and the roots, which developed in the vertical relations between the Union and the Member States. The foundations of EU law, which often have a background in legal history, comparative experience and public international law, impact upon horizontal relations in a manner previously unknown in national systems of private law.
Across ten parts grouped in four books devoted to foundations, principles, enforcement and implementation, respectively, as well as the external dimension, the author elaborates on the peculiarities of EU private law as compared to the traditional analysis of private law in any given national legal system. The author traces throughout the book the origins of legal principles and rules in comparative law, legal history and public international law and their application and development in EU private law instruments and the judgments of the CJEU. This comparison helps to strengthen our understanding of those peculiarities and paves the way for a comprehensive critical assessment of the state of EU private law today.


JÜRGEN BASEDOW is Director Emeritus at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law and Professor of Law at the University of Hamburg.

Technical info
More Information
Type of product Book
Format Hardback
EAN / ISSN 9781839701214 / 9781839701580
Weight 1400 g
Status Available
Number of pages cxxviii
Access to exercice No
Publisher Intersentia
Language English
Publication Date May 19, 2021
Available on Jurisquare No
Available on Strada Belgique No
Available on Strada Europe No
Available on Strada Luxembourg No


  • Table of Contents and Preliminary Pages
    Jürgen Basedow
  • Book I: Foundations
  • Part I: Private Law in European Integration
    Jürgen Basedow
  • Part II: Development of EU Private Law
    Jürgen Basedow
  • Part III: Sources of EU Private Law
    Jürgen Basedow
  • Book II: Principles
  • Part IV: Principles of the Legal Community
    Jürgen Basedow
  • Part V: Market Principles
    Jürgen Basedow
  • Part VI: Solidarity Principles
    Jürgen Basedow
  • Book III: Implementation and Enforcement
  • Part VII: Institutional and Procedural Framework
    Jürgen Basedow
  • Part VIII: Legal Method
    Jürgen Basedow
  • Book IV: The External Dimension of EU Private Law
  • Part IX: The Policy Approach: Scope Rules
    Jürgen Basedow
  • Part X: The Legal Certainty Approach: Bilateral Conflict Rules
    Jürgen Basedow
  • Epilogue
    Jürgen Basedow