In October 2015, the Faculty of Law at ELTE University hosted the Greek-Hungarian Symposium on Private International Law and Private Law for the second time in the history of this long-standing cooperation between the University of Athens and ELTE. The academic cooperation between the law faculties of the two universities goes back to the eighties, and since then has given rise to continuous cooperation and shared thought, both at the level of informal contacts and through symposiums held either in Greece or in Hungary. On the Hungarian side, the spiritual father and the driving force of the cooperation was the late Professor Ferenc Mádl, thanks to whom the contacts between the two universities remained alive over the past decades. It is with the hope of nurturing this tradition further that the fourth symposium was organised. The focal point of these meetings has always been private international law and EU law, and this time scholars from the two respective countries exchanged their views on the recent European trends experienced in these fields.
The October conference focused above all on developments in EU law and on its impact on the respective national laws in the field of private international law and private law. The conference was even more topical due to the entry into force in August 2015 of the Succession Regulation, to the withdrawal in January that same year of the promising Commission proposal on the Common European Sales Law and to the still ongoing negotiations on the draft Regulation on the free circulation of public documents. Most of the papers contained in this volume primarily intend to reflect on these current changes and challenges at the European level. Some express criticism or a somewhat sceptical approach, while others seem to be more optimistic. What they have in common is that they draw attention to the sometimes irreconcilable divergences rooted in the national legal cultures or to the differing interests of Member States, which make the acceptance and the eventual adoption of new EU measures difficult, often impossible, even where moving ahead in the field of cooperation in civil matters or in issues of private law closely linked to the establishment of the internal market would in principle be welcomed and have clear added value. Other papers in the volume are connected to the current reform of private international law in Hungary; they also reveal substantial issues of European law, mainly as far as the impact of European instruments and their intrusion on national law in this specific field is concerned.
Besides the conference contributions on the harmonisation of private international law and on the development of European law, a special aspect of transnational law is presented in this volume too: a separate study is devoted to the prospective role of the UNIDROIT Principles of International Commercial Contracts in legal education.
Both faculties believe that the cooperation will not only persist is the future but will even intensify and will be entertained by the younger generation the same way as it was nursed by those who called it into life.
Athens – Budapest, 2016 May