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European Law Journal. Volume 12, Number 4 (2006), p. 534-556.


This article takes issue with the longstanding oppositional themes of harmonisation versus regulatory competition in European company law. Instead of embracing one approach over the other in exclusivity, the article draws attention to the persisting mixture of approaches to an emerging European-wide law regulating the business corporation. Against the background of an ongoing struggle over identifying the goals and taboos of the European legislator’s mandate in regulating the company, the argument put forward here is that this very struggle is reflective of the nature of the evolution of company law in an ‘integrating Europe and a globalising world’. European attempts of developing European company law as part of a larger initiative of improving the Union’s potential for innovation and competition are thus likely to meet with the challenges that contemporary Nation States are facing when adapting their modes of regulation and representation to the demands of an increasingly complex and decentralised fields of market activities. Situating the law of the business corporation within the larger theme of European integration on the one hand, and of issues of market regulation, domestic, transnational, and international, on the other, suggests the adoption of a systems theory-based approach to under- standing the boundaries of law in this multilevel and multipolar process


This article was previously published as a research paper in the Comparative Research in Law and Political Economy series.

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