Predicting the Future of European Property Law

16 Pages Posted: 15 Dec 2016

See all articles by Bram Akkermans

Bram Akkermans

Maastricht University - Maastricht European Private Law Institute (M-EPLI)

Date Written: December 6, 2016


In 1994 René de Groot and Steven Bartels published an article in Ars Aequi, a Dutch, completely student run journal, about the future of property law in the European Union. The Treaty of Maastricht had just entered into force and a new era in the European integration process was about to begin. Before any of the challenges brought with EU enlargement in 2004, the financial crisis from 2007 onwards, or the migration crisis in 2015, De Groot and Bartels devoted their attention to a thought experiment: what could the role of property law be in the European Union? Their answers are, looking at it from a 2016 perspective, very accurate, both in terms of developments and their predictions what action would be needed for these to come about.

In their contribution De Groot and Bartels focus on security rights, use rights and rules of third party protection (also known as the bona fide purchaser). The main core of their argument is that because property law systems are divergent, comparative research is needed before the European Union can take appropriate action. This statement holds true today and each of these themes deserves attention in the 2016 context, before I return to the main argument on the need for comparative research.

Keywords: Comparative Property Law, European Property Law, Modern Property Law, European Union and Property, Security Rights, Use Rights, Third Party Protection

Suggested Citation

Akkermans, Bram, Predicting the Future of European Property Law (December 6, 2016). Maastricht European Private Law Institute Working Paper No. 2016/10, Available at SSRN: or

Bram Akkermans (Contact Author)

Maastricht University - Maastricht European Private Law Institute (M-EPLI) ( email )

PO Box 616
Maastricht, 6200 MD


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