- Internal market rationality, private law and the direction of the Union: resuscitating the market as the object of the political
- European Law Journal
- Volume | Issue number
- 21 | 5
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Law (FdR)
- Centre for the Study of European Contract Law (CSECL)
This paper proposes a concept of ‘internal market rationality’ for the analysis of the political, legal and economic consequences of European integration. Internal market rationality refers to a specific pattern of political action in the field of internal market, which has emerged gradually due to the confluence of three main factors: first, the EU's functional institutional design; second, the processes of post-national juridification; and third, a more contingent influence of ideas. In the interplay of those three factors, the interpretation of internal market has become overdetermined, restricting thereby the space of (democratic) politics in its regulation. This reification of internal market rationality has had a direct influence on the content of European law, as I demonstrate through the example of European private law. Internal market rationality has transformed the very concept of justice underpinning private law, the concept of the person or subject of law, the (re)distributive pattern of private law as well as the normative basis on which private law stands. I argue, finally, that a close examination of the legal, institutional and ideological arrangement behind internal market rationality provides clues for the democratisation of the EU.
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