University of Helsinki Faculty of XXX

Private Law in a Multicultural and Multilingual European Society


Welcome to PriME!


Private Law in a Multicultural and Multilingual European Society (PriME) was an Academy project at the Department of Private Law and the Institute of International Economic Law (KATTI), during 2005-2007. Since, the project has been integrated as part of the research conducted at the Centre of Excellence for European Law and Polity.

The project analyses the substantive consequences for private law of the fact that the society to which it is applied is multicultural and multilingual. It focuses on three kinds of questions: (a) To what extent does the multiculturalism of the EU hamper the development of common private law rules and require rules that are specific for the state/region/culture in question and to what extent can the needed localism be met with variations in the application of common legislative provisions? (b) What problems for the common rules are posed by the fact that they are to be implemented in a multilingual society? (c) To what extent and under which circumstances is it possible to refer to cultural and linguistic values as the primary objective of protection by rules of private law?

The project draws its empirical material primarily from the European Union. The concrete studies are focusing on aspects of consumer culture and consumer expectations and the regulation of consumer markets as well as on some features of the regulation of financial markets. On this basis the project analyses on a more theoretical level the opportunities and shortcomings of private law in a multicultural and multilingual context. It contributes to the emerging European legal theory by analysing the new structures of (private) law in the European Union as such a unique legal structure, the implications of which have not sufficiently been analysed in legal theory so far. The project is multidisciplinary, although with a strong foundation in legal theory.