Ongoing projects

Transparency regulation toolkits for responsible artificial intelligence. 01/02/2024 - 01/08/2025

Abstract

The United Kingdom and European Union are creating new regulations for AI transparency; drafting and implementing laws that will require bodies to communicate when they are using AI, and how they are using it. However, the exact meaning of 'AI transparency' is contestable, so implementing these rules requires interpretation. Our aim is to examine how data scientists are interpreting and implementing transparency rules in practice, and how they plan to in the future. We will create two legal and responsible innovation toolkits to help Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) comply with AI transparency requirements.

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  • Research Project

"It's a cargo match!..." Attaining waste-free and effective freight transport systems by seamlessly matching demand and supply with inclusive, smart, and green-oriented booking platforms. 14/01/2024 - 13/01/2029

Abstract

This research aims to address critical challenges in the emerging field of Freight Mobility as a Service (FMaaS) by focusing on regulatory measures, risk distribution, and the intricate issue of platform power concentration. The objectives are outlined as follows: **4.1 Regulation:** To meet the growing demand for FMaaS acceptance, a comprehensive toolbox of legislative measures and contractual templates will be developed. These tools will serve as a guide for industry stakeholders, policymakers, and advocacy groups, ensuring adherence to current policy targets, especially in the realms of competition law, labor law, and data protection law. The regulatory framework will consider the underlying rationale for such measures, fostering a supportive environment for FMaaS growth. **4.2 Risk Distribution:** Understanding the impact of FMaaS on contractual risks is crucial for all stakeholders involved, including cargo interested parties, operational service providers, and software service providers. This objective seeks to raise awareness and equip stakeholders with tools to develop effective risk management strategies. By transforming contract law frameworks into catalysts for innovation, this research aims to turn potential obstacles into opportunities for all FMaaS participants. **Transversal Objective 4.1 & 4.2: Power Concentration:** FMaaS faces the challenge of platform power concentration, where the success of network technologies relies heavily on market penetration. This creates a cycle where a larger market share enhances platform power, providing better functionalities to users. However, this also puts users in a dependent position, as the platform acts as a gatekeeper, private legislator, and elusive actor. Existing regulations struggle to manage excessive platform power, with interventions either failing or overly restrictive. This research aims to explore strategies that balance the positive impact of platform power for the ecosystem while mitigating negative overspill effects. In conclusion, this research seeks to contribute valuable insights and practical tools to facilitate the acceptance of FMaaS. By addressing regulatory challenges, promoting effective risk management, and navigating the complexities of platform power, the aim is to foster a sustainable and innovative FMaaS ecosystem that benefits all stakeholders involved.

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  • Research Project

Commission Report to the European Parliament and to the Council on the state of the Union Road transport market and the implementation of Regulation 1071/2009 and 1072/09. 14/12/2023 - 30/09/2024

Abstract

The project aims to evaluate the effectiveness of mobility package I for the implementation of the policy targets underlying Regulation 1071/2009 and 1072/2009. The project will combine literature review and empirical research (stakeholders interviews and drivers surveys) to this end. In addition the project will provide policy recommendations.

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  • Research Project

Duurzame vennootschapsbelasting: rekening houden met negatieve externe effecten in de inkomstenbelasting. 01/10/2023 - 30/09/2027

Abstract

Nations around the world are currently reforming income tax systems to address perceived problems of low or no taxation associated with modern economic activity. Yet, this is being done in a way that preserves rather than solve long-standing and well-known issues of unsustainability in business practices. Accordingly, this project investigates how to incorporate into tax rules economic assessment methods that trace sustainability-related factors throughout global supply chains. The objective is to propose technical reforms to align income taxation of multinational corporations with sustainable development goals. Such proposals aim to incentivize more sustainable corporate practices while allocating revenues to countries affected by negative externalities. In doing so, the project will promote a wholly new, cross-fertilized scientific literature between income tax law and environmental economics of interest to researchers, policymakers, and socially responsible investors.

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  • Research Project

Artificial Intelligence Regulation for Digital Marketplaces (AIRDM). 01/08/2023 - 31/07/2024

Abstract

Artificial intelligence is playing an increasingly prominent role in determining search results and rankings in the digital marketplace. This project considers three oversight models proposed to create greater transparency of the use of AI language models for online marketplaces. These include (i) a top-down model with government access to search algorithms, (ii) a bottom-up model with selfregulation by companies through guidelines or ethical principles, and (iii) an (intermediate) auditing model with government testing of algorithm outputs using counterfactuals. The expected result is a policy recommendation at an EU level on a form of oversight that may help protect consumer rights. This is an ambitious undertaking, given the current lack of regulation in the space, and the various proposals still being debated at the EU level, including the Artificial Intelligence Act and The Data Act. The policy recommendation may therefore enhance ongoing legislative proposals, allowing for the creation of an overarching oversight mechanism. This project will directly contribute to the safe "uptake of AI in the EU" which is an ongoing economic policy objective of the EC.

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  • Research Project

Short-termism in corporate governance: a continental European perspective. 01/01/2023 - 31/12/2026

Abstract

Short-termist behavior by corporations is considered a large societal problem. Many scholars have already argued that some investors are excessively focused on the short term, and that this short-termism is transmitted to corporate management through executive compensation and shareholder activists. However, most of the academic evidence has only studied the US and the UK, ignoring the specificities of corporate governance in continental Europe. Compared with the US and the UK, more corporations have a controlling shareholder in continental Europe, and shareholder activism and share-based executive compensation is rarer. So far, the academic evidence has not analyzed the implications of these differences in corporate governance. This has not stopped European jurisdictions from adopting measures to combat short-termism in corporate governance, for example by introducing loyalty voting rights. This research project analyzes the potential of corporate governance to discourage short-termism in two continental European jurisdictions, Belgium and France. It does so by reviewing the existing literature on short-termism in the US and the UK, comparing the US and the UK to Belgium and France, and providing new empirical evidence on Belgium and France. On the basis of this research, the proposals for corporate governance reform will be analyzed. This will help legislators and corporations take better informed decisions on combatting short-termism.

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  • Research Project

Project RESONANCE*: The development of "fair governance", a new interdisciplinary psycho-legal research approach to assess public algorithm-assisted decision making *faiRnEss Self-determination gOverNANCE. 01/01/2023 - 31/12/2026

Abstract

As we are transitioning to the fourth digital revolution, we become increasingly dependent on algorithms for decision making. Governments in particular are important players in this digital technology market, as they both use these technologies ánd regulate their use. In practice, tax administrations are already using predictive algorithms for tax compliance. These automated decisions can, however, have a substantial impact on citizens. Ungoverned algorithm use can entail a threat to legal elements and psychological needs that are already increasingly mitigated or ignored, such as the right to a human-in-the-loop, the right to privacy and transparency, as well as the psychological need for autonomy and fairness. In order to be able to assess the current and future governmental algorithm use practices in terms of their legality and potential psychological effects, we propose a new interdisciplinary research lens, i.e. "fair governance". This lens combines theories revolving around psychological needs, fairness and good administration. This will enable us to examine and avert the negative consequences of digital decision making, both through theoretical and empirical research (gauging citizens' perceptions). Ultimately, this research will help to inform policy to make public decision making future proof, both in terms of regulatory initiatives, as well as in terms of protocols to improve the human-machine interaction on the work floor.

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  • Research Project

Fairness of algorithm-use for predictive tax enforcement models: a psycho-legal perspective. 01/12/2022 - 30/11/2024

Abstract

The proposed interdisciplinary research sets out to investigate citizens' fairness perceptions of the use of AI by Belgian tax administrations. In tax law, the concept of fairness is too vague to be useful, especially in the new digital context. The psychological lens aims to alleviate this problem through introducing four empirically validated fairness domains that can be used to assess citizens' fairness perceptions. This way, policy can be informed on how to improve current AI protocols to optimize fairness perceptions.

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  • Research Project

IOF Valorisation manager Antwerp Law Lab 01/04/2022 - 31/03/2025

Abstract

The Antwerp Law Lab aims to become a beacon for regulatory and operational innovation. It will serve as a one-stop shop for companies, authorities and civic organisations who need research-driven legal input to support every aspect of their project. The Antwerp Law Lab adds exceptional value for societal stakeholders by combining the pragmatic insights of legal practicians with the conceptual mindset of academics. The Antwerp Law Lab offering is academic and therefore complements that of legal service providers such as attorneys, consultants and notaries. It also differs from fundamental academic research by providing answers that are practice-oriented and ready to apply. Cross-faculty collaboration and sharing of different legal perspectives are essential to our problem-solving. We break down the barriers of a siloed approach to formulate resilient answers that have been considered from every angle.

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  • Research Project

Towards a Resilient Framework of High Level Passenger Rights Protection: Adaptations for Platform-based Mobility Solutions and the Future of Sustainable Urban Mobility. 01/01/2022 - 31/12/2025

Abstract

Urban mobility has fundamentally changed over the last decades. Sharing steps, bikes and cars as well as carpooling and on demand mobility platforms have become an important part of the mobility matrix. Established by private companies, these platform-based mobility initiatives are now at the heart of local and EU mobility policy as a means to achieve a more sustainable and accessible mobility matrix. The standstill in the design of a coherent passenger rights framework for these platform-based mobility solutions as a key component of the mobility mix is in sheer contrast with the operational evolutions in this domain. While the EU aims at providing a high level uniform passenger rights protection, the current legal framework consists of a patchwork of EU Regulations and international Conventions, all with a limited scope. Such a fragmented approach makes the legal framework vulnerable to major societal changes, such as the current evolution towards platform-based mobility solutions, resulting in legal uncertainty and gaps in the protection for passengers. The proposed research will bring an important contribution to the international state-of-the-art by providing a framework for integrated passenger rights protection, aimed at providing legal certainty and effective protection for actors involved in today's mobility solutions, while at the same time making the framework adaptive, providing a solid and resilient framework for future mobility solutions.

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Taming ecosystem power of platforms through contract and competition law. 01/01/2022 - 31/12/2025

Abstract

Online platforms have enhanced the efficiency of contract chains by reducing transaction costs and lowering entry barriers. In this way, the platform economy could have positive welfare effects for all contract chain actors. The platform's strength lies in its triple role as (i) gatekeeper to the platform, (ii) legislator of the relationships within the ecosystem and (iii) contractual actor with rights and responsibilities within the ecosystem. However, there is also evidence of possible negative welfare effects amongst retailers, service providers (especially gig workers) and customers. These problems mainly seem to be caused by the fact that the platforms' strengths result in an excess power within the ecosystem. This research aims to come to a power balancing mechanism that allows for the management of excess powers, without eliminating platform strengths and the platforms' potential welfare benefits. Current solutions ignore the shift from bilateral contracts to multistakeholderecosystem contracts, and from absolute market power to relative ecosystem-power. Literature and recently developed legal instruments especially ignore the ecosystem legislator role of platforms and how it interacts with the other roles. This project instead integrates the three aspects of platform power in one ecosystem-based legal model and aims to tackle excess power through a highly innovative holistic approach combining contract law and competition law solutions.

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Deus Tax Machina - An inquiry into the use of AI by tax administrations in the EU and its implications for taxpayers' privacy and data protection rights 01/11/2021 - 31/10/2025

Abstract

This researcher proposes to study the use of artificial intelligence (AI) by tax administrations and its implications for taxpayers' privacy and data protection rights in Member States of the European Union. Tax administrations are increasingly using AI to collect data (e.g. through internet scraping), to process data (e.g. data mining), and to communicate with taxpayers (e.g. through chatbots). Tax administrations who make use of AI have reported positive results, e.g. through the reduction of overhead costs or by operating a more accurate selection of taxpayers to be audited. However, the cases of SyRI, RoboDebt or COMPAS highlight the fact that the use of AI as a governance tool can create a number of risks such as the risk of surveillance, unwanted profiling, discrimination, wrongful correlations, purpose elasticity of data collection or a lack of transparent decision-making. This research will advance knowledge on the privacy and data protection risks triggered by this new technology by developing an AI tax governance tools taxonomy and an analytical framework to assess the risks associated to each tool. Also, the research will comparatively evaluate how EU Member States' rules regulating such use properly safeguard taxpayers' rights.

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Taming ecosystem power of platforms through contract and competition law. 01/10/2021 - 30/09/2025

Abstract

Online platforms have enhanced the efficiency of contract chains by reducing transaction costs and lowering entry barriers. In this way, the platform economy could have positive welfare effects for all contract chain actors. The platform's strength lies in its triple role as (i) gatekeeper to the platform, (ii) legislator of the relationships within the ecosystem and (iii) contractual actor with rights and responsibilities within the ecosystem. However, there is also evidence of possible negative welfare effects amongst retailers, service providers (especially gig workers) and customers. These problems mainly seem to be caused by the fact that the platforms' strengths result in excess power within the ecosystem. This research aims to come to a power balancing mechanism that allows for the management of excess powers, without eliminating platform strengths and the platforms' potential welfare benefits. Current solutions ignore the shift from bilateral contracts to multi-stakeholder ecosystem contracts, and from absolute market power to relative ecosystem-power. Literature and recently developed legal instruments especially ignore the ecosystem legislator role of platforms and how it interacts with the other roles. This project instead integrates the three aspects of platform power in one ecosystem-based legal model and aims to tackle excess power through a holistic approach combining contract law and competition law solutions.

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  • Research Project

InnoFiNS. Implementing innovative financing for nature-based solutions in Flemish cities. 01/10/2021 - 30/09/2025

Abstract

Flemish cities are expected to take a leading role in climate adaptation and mitigation strategies. At the core of these strategies are nature based solutions (NBS) by green, blue and hybrid urban infrastructures. NBS address multiple problems related to climate change in an integrated, sustainable way. Although investments in NBS infrastructures are considered a cost effective way to achieve future societal and environmental benefits, current public budgets in Flanders are insufficient. As a result, the gap between investments in and societal need for NBS is growing. In contrast to limited public budgets, there is an abundance of private capital seeking for investments. Yet, the potential to invest private capital in NBS is not fully exploited. NBS projects typically have sizeable upfront costs and diffuse and long-term societal benefits that are not easily captured in steady cash flows, making privately financed schemes often inappropriate. In order to attract private investments to NBS, new business models and alternative financing mechanisms are needed. In this project, we study the utilization potential of innovative financing models in the Flemish context by developing real life business cases of NBS, using new instruments such as impact financing, value capturing and ICO-crowd funding. In order to develop a realistic and holistic interdisciplinary approach, this strategic research will study how new financial instruments impact planning and design of NBS infrastructure. The urban living lab approach will ensure continuous integrated assessment of the spatial, juridical, institutional, economic feasibility and social impact of the new financing business models, optimising the utilisation potential for the societal users. This research project will be integrated in the SBO-FWO project Innofins if granted. The SEP grant will be used to finance the planning and design research track of the proposal and will finance a part time post doc to coordinate the living labs and to develop a new proposal for similar funding opportunities.

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  • Research Project

European Training and research network on Autonomous Barges for Smart Inland Shipping (AUTOBarge). 01/10/2021 - 30/09/2025

Abstract

Europe's waterways are a vital resource that we have underused for most of the last century. Now, with the possibility for mass autonomous shipping, these canals and rivers offer a network of opportunities for sustainable logistics. A number of operational and technological research projects aiming at setting up such system are currently taking place. Apart from operational and technologic innovations being required for such market introduction, also important legal innovations stand in the way of a succesful commercial market introduction. These legal challenges exist both at the level of Regulation as at the level of contract law. The project aims to eliminate obstacles in both fields. A large number of provisions in existing regulation oppose against unmanned inland navigation. The problem underlying this, is that a legal framework acknowledging unmanned shipping, going beyond (ad hoc) experiment legislation is absent. This task will analyse regulatory obstacles standing in the way of unmanned shipping and will evaluate the policy arguments behind such obstacles. Based on this, the task will provide a toolbox allowing developers to conduct a compliance check of their designs. Further, it will analyse how such policy arguments were overcome in other industries, such as the airline industry. Based on this input this task aims to make a proposal for a regulatory innovation allowing for a market-introduction of unmanned inland shipping. Also a dedicated contract law framework, taking into account the changed actors, information availability and risks resulting from the evolution to autonomous inland shipping is absent. This absence leads to legal uncertainty, can endanger the insurability of risks and increase transaction costs. With this, the private law framework can constitute an important obstacle towards the commercial use of autonomous inland shipping. This is even more relevant taking into account the mandatory nature of transport law, thus limiting the room for contractual risk management. This task will first of all analyse bottlenecks in the contract law framework, standing in the way of legal certainty, predictability and a fair balance of interests for stakeholders involved in the operation of autonomous inland shipping. Based on this analysis and building on best practises from other fields of law and sector consultation, the task aims to make a proposal for contract drafting and an amended legal framework, ascertaining these interests.

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  • Research Project

Digitalisation and taxation. 01/01/2021 - 31/12/2025

Abstract

Tech digital giants like Google, Amazon, Facebook, and Apple have become notorious for their ability to avoid paying taxes, even as their combined environmental and social footprints grow exponentially. One response from the international community has been to focus on the tax challenges arising from the digitalisation of the economy and the emergence of disruptive technologies. One hundred years after the international tax system was first established, policymakers around the world are now considering a redesign of its basic tenets. Parallel to this movement, there has been growing public demand for sustainable development policies and private investors interest in corporate sustainable activities. At the same time, practical tools have recently begun to emerge in the form of innovative technologies that can trace sustainability-related factors throughout global supply chains. Yet to date, these interrelated phenomena are all but absent from the current discussions on digital taxation. Global leaders acknowledge that achieving sustainability requires public and private funding, and they have even set up resources specifically considering the mobilisation of new technologies to the problem of sustainable development. But there is virtually no connection of these efforts to the reconstruction of the global tax system in response to the digital economy. This research accordingly seeks to close this gap by establishing how international tax rules and proposals to update them affect sustainability, as well as how sustainability measurements based on blockchain, big data analytics, and artificial intelligence can improve the raising and spending of tax revenues for both developed and developing countries in today's high-tech digitalised global economy.

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A sustainable value theory for the international tax system 01/01/2021 - 31/12/2024

Abstract

Ongoing global negotiations on a new design for the international tax law framework to cope with the digital economy depart from the assumption that coordinated reform efforts should ensure that cross-border business income is taxed in accordance with the idea of value creation, as a proxy for each countries' contribution to global wealth production. Because the existing rule set tends to assign most profits of multinationals to where hard-to-value intangibles like intellectual property are located, nations around the world have endorsed a series of technical proposals at the level of the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD), the aim of which is to shift a portion of tax revenues to so-called "market jurisdictions". Yet, consumer markets are not the only places where value is being created but not properly recognized by global tax rules. Countries with high development deficits that suffer with the costs associated with mass production, extraction of natural resources, the use of cheap labour and so on have not seen their contributions to international commerce and trade appropriately reflected in interjurisdictional tax allocation methods. This is partially because the underlying value theory that informs discussions does not account for the negative impacts of various corporate actions that are currently externalised and omitted from market prices. In applying a value theory that ignores these externalised costs in the income generating process, the OECD's or any other approach – traditional transfer pricing and profit attribution rules to permanent establishments or new tax nexuses and formulas for fractional apportionment – will maintain, rather than resolve, long-standing and well-known issues of sustainability. As long as the extraction of value from human and natural resources remains undetected by the international tax system, technical rules will always reveal value that is inaccurate in financial terms, thus rewarding unsustainable business and investment practices, while sustainable activities are priced out of the market. This project aims to close this knowledge gap by proposing a sustainable theory of value for the distribution of tax revenues among countries.

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  • Research Project

Digitalisation and Tax (DigiTax). 03/07/2019 - 31/12/2024

Abstract

Digital transformation has caused changes in all aspects of human life. In the DigiTax project, we look at the tax implications of this process from two perspectives. First, we examine the challenges that digitalisation brings to the tax area. For example, in the digital economy multinationals have more opportunities to shift profits to low-tax countries. Where should these profits be taxed? Also, increasingly robots are entering the labor force market, from automated driving cars to chatbots. Should they be considered a separate taxable entity, and if so, how do these robots need to be taxed? More generally, we will look at: (a) which tax regimes come under pressure, (b) is there a need to change the traditional tax concepts and if so which new tax concepts can be developed to contribute to a fairer taxation, (c) who is legitimately authorized, and (d) how to implement the change? Second, and vice versa, we study the opportunities that digitalisation creates for the fairness of taxation and the efficiency and effectiveness of the tax authorities. For example, how can improved data mining algorithms or the inclusion of novel data sources help to develop more accurate, understandable and discrimination-free fraud detection systems that minimize tax non-compliance or tax-evasion? Or how can blockchain technology improve transparency, tax compliance and trust between authorities and taxpayers? We will specifically look at the opportunities that data mining, internet of things (IoT) and blockchain technology bring to the tax domain. This project explicitly calls for a multidisciplinary approach, studying the technological, legal, economical and societal implications of digitalisation and tax.

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Past projects

Consumer law in a disruptive society. 16/01/2023 - 15/07/2023

Abstract

This project explores whether and how consumer law can better adapt to technological advances that lead to disruptive innovations, arguing that adaptability would ensure better protection of consumers in the European Union. More specifically, technological developments continue to emerge and challenge the existing legal framework of consumer protection in view of the legal gaps they create. An example is the platform economy, which introduced new market actors and contractual relationships and therefore blurred the lines between professionals and consumers. The European Commission aims to minimize the impact of such disruptions in the digital market, by addressing the needs of consumers through soft law instruments and legislative processes. However, processes like these can be timely and lead to gray areas where consumers are still under-protected. Thus, this project suggests that consumer laws that can better adapt to such disruptions would minimize the negative impact of innovation on consumers. To determine the qualities that consumer law should demonstrate in order to be adaptable to innovation, this research studies the existing consumer protection rules that were able to adapt to disruptive innovations and also explores the theory of adaptable legislation in general. Four elements are identified through this process: technological neutrality, flexibility, legal certainty, and a balance of interests. The project concludes that consumer protection provisions in the EU should reflect these elements to become more adaptable to disruptions and thus to better safeguard consumer rights in a continuously changing digital environment.

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Sectors with significant tax gaps, key challenges based on case study, the football sector. 23/02/2021 - 31/12/2021

Abstract

Tax competition between countries could involve tax incentives for legal entities and/or individuals. Also the football sector encounters many different tax and/or social security regimes between states. Since the Bosman case, football players have, in principle, the freedom to exercise their profession in the country of their choice. Domestic beneficial tax and/or social security regimes could play an important factor in their decision. European football clubs face a high burden to relocate their center of activities due to among others sporting obligations to compete mainly in their domestic competition, contractual obligations related to their stadium and local anchoring with traditional fan base. This does not mean that within the mid to long term football clubs could also take into account beneficial tax regimes for legal entities because of the growing globalization of the sport and an evolution towards the establishment of football holding companies. This study includes a comparative research on tax rates, pay roll taxes and social security charges of professional football clubs and professional players of the following countries: UK, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Portugal, the Netherlands and Belgium. The aim is to come up with recommendations to level the playing field within the football sector. These findings can also be used for discussions on among others tax competition between states for high skilled workers.

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Scientific Chair Jean-Pierre Blumberg. 01/01/2021 - 31/12/2023

Abstract

The Jean-Pierre Blumberg Chair was established in 2021 in permanent memory of Jean-Pierre Blumberg. The activities of the chair consist of education, research and social engagement relating to the topic of corporate governance. Prof. Dr. Robby Houben is the holder of the chair. Dr. Tom Vos has been appointed as a researcher and visiting professor with the chair. In the academic year 2021-2022, Dr. Tom Vos will teach a course on 'short-termism or long-termism in the Belgian corporate landscape' in the context of the chair. The research agenda of the chair consists of research on the legal and economic aspects of corporate governance. More specifically, the chair has three lines of research: short-termism in corporate governance, start-up governance and shareholder protection in the issuance of shares.

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Through a smart legal framework towards Smart autonomous Inland Shipping. 01/12/2020 - 30/11/2022

Abstract

Europe's waterways are a vital resource that we have underused for most of the last century. Now, with the possibility for mass autonomous shipping, these canals and rivers offer a network of opportunities for sustainable logistics. A number of operational and technological research projects aiming at setting up such system are currently taking place. Apart from operational and technologic innovations being required for such market introduction, important legal innovations also stand in the way of a successful commercial market introduction. These legal challenges exist both at the level of Regulation and at the level of contract law. The project aims to eliminate obstacles in both fields. A large number of provisions in existing regulation oppose against unmanned inland navigation. The underlying problem with this, is that a legal framework acknowledging unmanned shipping, going beyond (ad hoc) experiment legislation is absent. This project aims to map the state of the art of legal aspects of autonomous transportation, bring together stakeholders and draft international project proposals.

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Research on the obligations of the federal government related to directive EU 2019/1937 and its transposition into Belgian Law 13/10/2020 - 30/04/2021

Abstract

This projects looks into the legal problems related to the transposition of the directive EU 2019/1937 (whistleblowing directive) into Belgian law. The contribution of the UAntwerp team to the entire project focuses on the implications of the transposition of the directive for tax law and for corporate governance

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Towards a legal framework for sharing economy in logistics: cargo bundling. 15/07/2020 - 14/07/2021

Abstract

The sustainability of the logistics sector remains a great societal challenge. Freight transport's effects on air quality and congestion are very clear in a city like Antwerp. Apart from investing in a modal shift and more sustainable vehicles, a further solution lies with an efficiency gain in road transport. Still many trucks drive around empty and the average loading degree of vehicles is low. This isn't only bad from a societal perspective, but also for the individual shippers, who will eventually pay for these empty kilometers. As a means to increase road transport efficiency, we see the emerge of sharing economy in logistics, taking the shape of cargo bundling. In case of cargo bundling shippers first bundle their less than container load consignments with similar destinations to a full container load, before offering it to a carrier. This allows shippers to benefit from lower freight prices than in case of cargo consolidation (carrier-initiated bundling). This doesn't only allow to reduce the costs of logistics and with this also makes new export markets accessible, but it also reduces societal costs of logistics. As such cargo bundling can contribute to the realization of policy targets for sustainable logistics. Cargo bundling provides however a challenge to the existing legal framework, as such cooperation is operationalized through complex contracts -multiparty contracts and linked contracts- to which neither transport law nor general contract law are equipped. As a result, engaging in cargo bundling can lead to legal uncertainty and even increased risk exposure for the shippers involved. With this, the legal framework is an obstacle for this means to a more sustainable transport. The aim of this project is to analyze the legal obstacles to cargo bundling and to design contractual and legal models allowing to remove these obstacles. The project builds upon existing literature on cargo bundling in management science and links this with literature on multiparty contracts and transport law. With this, the project doesn't only provide a legal framework for cargo bundling, but in addition, it contributes to a legal theory on multiparty contracts and provides a framework for further research on horizontal cooperation in logistics. The research method is innovative as it combines traditional comparative/doctrinal research with empirical research. Through surveys preferences and resistances among sector players are being identified. This allows to build a legal framework which doesn't only facilitate cargo bundling, but in addition is modeled after sector preferences, allowing for maximal acceptance in practice.

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proposal for a law on transport organisors 01/06/2020 - 01/07/2022

Abstract

The sector of transport organizers has undergone some significant changes in the light of recent evolutions. Mainly digitalisation and new types of sui generis intermediaries have disrupted the market. This research aims to propose legal changes to tackle these disruptions.

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Study on Virtual Currencies. 20/11/2019 - 31/03/2020

Abstract

Numbers show that crypto-assets, including foremost virtual currencies, peaked at a market capitalisation of 650 billion EUR early 2018, drastically decreasing to about 96 billion EUR by early 2019 (source: ECB). These numbers indicate that, for now, virtual currencies are a marginal phenomenon from a financial stability and monetary policy perspective. They are not a marginal phenomenon, however, from the perspective of combating financial crime (tax fraud, money laundering, terrorist financing) or investor protection. For example, money laundering through virtual currencies is a real threat and fraudulent crypto investor schemes are also a reality, directly impacting domestic and European crime fighters, financial supervisors, investors, etc.. Moreover, realities can develop: it is not unlikely that larger projects, in particular the introduction of the Libra coin, a stable coin designed to facilitate payments, can take on monstrous proportions and truly compete with traditional fiat money – and thus impact financial stability and/or monetary policy in the future. In addition, it is reported that some states, including very large ones, are considering issuing central bank virtual currencies, in addition to traditional fiat money. These developments can have huge impact, also taking into account the digital nature of virtual currencies, making them susceptible to cybercrime, bringing cybersecurity to the table. The study addresses virtual currencies from a financial regulatory and compliance (with money laundering rules especially) perspective. It sets out the current European regulatory framework and how robust it is in view of the (potential) risks that crypto assets cause now, and are likely to cause in the future, taking into account recent developments such as Libra and government backed virtual currencies. It scrutinizes how the regulatory framework can be improved to tackle the identified risks/threats from a financial regulatory and compliance perspective, insofar the current framework would prove insufficient.

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Responsible sovereign lending and borrowing: a conceptual analysis of sovereign debt restructuring mechanisms (SDRMs) for the Eurozone. 01/10/2019 - 30/09/2023

Abstract

During the European sovereign debt crisis, as from 2009, various Eurozone countries faced difficulties either to repay or refinance their outstanding debt and/or to rescue banks hit by the preceding financial crisis. Both European (including the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) and the European Central Bank (ECB)) and international institutions (the International Monetary Fund (IMF)) had to step in to bail-out countries including Greece, Ireland & Portugal and avoid sovereign default. Our research focusses on regulatory initiatives with regard to "responsible sovereign lending & borrowing", a well-known concept in the context of household debt that yet received relatively little academic attention with regard to sovereign debt. After 1) investigating the rationale for regulation (the "why" of regulation), based amongst others on a (behavioural) law analysis (e.g. taking into account existing market failures) and a comparison with lender/borrower liability rules applicable to household & commercial credit, as well as 2) the various regulatory options (the "how"), we focus in particular on proposals for sovereign debt restructuring mechanisms (so called "SDRMs"). SDRMs (e.g. automatic write-downs/maturity extensions of sovereign debt) could for instance enter into force in case a Eurozone country applies for a bail-out with the ESM. Considered as "one of the preconditions for a stronger Banking Union" , SDRMs prove highly controversial on the EU political level.

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  • Research Project

Gig@risk: towards a legal framework for gig workers` and prosumers` risk management. 01/10/2019 - 30/09/2023

Abstract

Platform economy makes it possible for consumers to market their available time (as gig worker) or assets (as prosumer). This is possible with very limited transaction costs and in a very short time frame. This has however as a consequence that also information needs to start such activities have been strongly reduced, which may trigger an unawareness about the risk linked to these activities amongst the actors involved. In many fields of private law, there are rules that aim to provide risk management to parties with a protectable interest. Such risk management is implement through information duties, limitation of the liability exposure and/ or mandatory insurance. The limited scope of such instruments has however as a consequence that gig workers and prosumers will not necessarily benefit from such mechanisms. This research aims to investigate the risks gig workers and prosumers are exposed to in the performance of their activities, the extent to which they are aware of these risks and to design a risk management model which can protect gig workers, prosumers and third parties.

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  • Research Project

Economic and Competition Law. 01/09/2019 - 30/09/2021

Abstract

Electronic commerce has led to a disruption in the economy, creating opportunities but also threats for businesses, consumers and workers. E-commerce and platform economy have made services, goods and work available to consumers with only one click and allows them to optimize the use of their underused assets. Counterpart hereof is that traditional business models and are at risk because of the new competitors. This doesn`t only entail a risk for companies, but also for employees. Traditional market participants and doctrine mainly look at regulation as a tool to eliminate the threats for traditional businesses and workers. The envisaged research however aims to optimize the opportunities of contract law to provide a level playing field, with effective protection of protectable interests. Electronic commerce has revealed weaknesses in the contract law framework governing the underlying relations, while at the same time providing opportunities for a more effective protection and contract designs that can enhance (social, economic and ecological) sustainability. One of the major threats is that these new work and consumption relations would not enjoy an equivalent protection to that in case of traditional consumer and labor contracts. This is not only disadvantageous for these vulnerable market participants, but also for traditional companies. The non-applicability of such mandatory rules would provide the new competitors with an unsolicited competitive advantage, hence standing in the way of a level playing field. Another threat for traditional companies is the fact that electronic commerce has introduced new contract chains, without contract law governing the other relations necessarily adapting to them. This might trigger undesirable liability exposures. Electronic commerce also provides many opportunities for private law and contracts alike. First of all, electronic communication allows to communicate to vulnerable market actors in a more effective way about their rights. This allows to increase the effectiveness of said protective rules. Second, the platformisation of the economy made peers with similar needs more accessible. This triggered a revival of operational research on sharing economy as a means allowing businesses and consumers alike to optimize welfare through cooperation. Insofar also the legal transaction costs can be reduced, law could here in fact be a catalyst of (social, ecological and economic) more sustainable contracts. The project envisages to make proposals to eliminate the threats of electronic commerce in private law by filling the gaps that were created by innovation, to provide an equivalent protection of vulnerable market participants in similar situations and to align contract law in contract chains, eliminating unintended liability exposures. At the same time, it aims to make effective use of the opportunities provided by electronic commerce to make such protection more effective and to make trade more sustainable. Here the research looks in two directions: first, the possibilities of electronic contracting for a more effective protection through enhanced legal literacy. Second, the design of a legal infrastructure for horizontal cooperation between different stakeholders, allowing for more sustainable business models. With this, the project aims to repair private law`s role as a catalyst for business. In order to allow for the private law analysis and design of (inter)stakeholder-relationships, this project will combine labor law, consumer law and commercial contracts law (including insurance law). Given my research background, the focus of this project lies with the retail, mobility and logistics sector. The contract chain approach requires however a holistic analysis which makes the results also to a large extent transferable to other fields of the industry.

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  • Research Project

The reform and modernisation of customs Law in Luxembourg as regards sanctions, penalties and related enforcement measures. 28/05/2019 - 28/02/2021

Abstract

Commissioned by the European Commission, Structural Reform Support Service, this research deals with the reform and modernisation of customs Law in Luxembourg as regards sanctions, penalties and related enforcement measures.

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  • Research Project

The Belgian football enterprise in al global context. A research into good governance, including compliance with laws and regulations, while bridging the gap with the European top. 01/05/2019 - 31/12/2023

Abstract

The past decades we have seen a clear trend towards professionalization of Belgian football clubs. With some exceptions, the structure of Belgian football clubs is moving towards that of "regular" mid-size to large corporates. Illustrative is the conversion of numerous football clubs from associations to companies, especially NVs (limited liability company), allowing a more suitable governance structure and more flexible financing options. Also illustrative is that successful entrepreneurs find their way to the shareholding and directorship of Belgian football clubs. Notwithstanding this clear trend towards professionalization and the return of certain prominent players of the Belgian national team to the Jupiler Pro League, Belgian football clubs are not yet at the forefront of European football. With some exceptions over the years, Belgian football clubs generally have difficulties to compete consistently at the highest level, especially the Champions League, but also the Europa League. On another note, the trend towards professionalization has not safeguarded Belgian football clubs against recent turmoil relating to match fixing, money laundering and tax evasion, with certain football brokers as linchpins. This turmoil very well illustrates that football clubs do not operate outside a legal and regulated environment and that compliance with laws and regulations is key. The further professionalization of football clubs should acknowledge this simple truth and clubs should be organized in the best possible way so as to assure compliance with laws and regulations. In light of the above, the research intends to identify best practices as regards governance, including compliance, of the Belgian football enterprise and to provide policy advice towards the Belgian rule maker(s) so as to further develop the regulatory framework wherein Belgian football clubs operate.

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  • Research Project

Cooperative tax compliance for companies – Key success indicators. 01/10/2018 - 30/09/2022

Abstract

Traditionally, enforcement of tax compliance is based on deterrence. Taxpayers are compliant because of the fear of detection and punishment. However, findings in the field of behavioral sciences show that also mutual trust between the taxpayer and the tax authorities increases tax compliance. Accordingly, over the last decade the OECD and the EU have promoted a shift from the deterrence-based approach to a tax compliance model based on cooperation and trust. Cooperative tax compliance programs are designed to establish such a relationship. They are intended to deliver various benefits for tax authorities and companies: enhanced relationship, improved tax risk assessment, reduction of administrative costs, improved confidence in the tax system. Since cooperative compliance induces transparency and voluntary compliance, it is de facto also an instrument against aggressive tax planning structures. A growing number of countries have introduced cooperative compliance programs. In some countries these programs have been evaluated, mainly through surveys. Belgium has not yet introduced cooperative compliance. In 2019 a pilot drafted by the Belgian tax authorities, will be introduced. The project will study this pilot. The research hypothesis is that a broad range of key indicators contribute to the success (or failure) of such program. The research aims to develop a framework revealing success indicators and legislative requirements to install a legal breeding ground for future initiatives. The combination of various research methods will contribute to a rich picture of key success indicators. First, a literature review will inventory the theoretical substructure of cooperative compliance as well as insights of empirical studies in which cooperative compliance has been examined and tested. Second, a process and impact evaluation will be carried out. In the process evaluation, also important indicators for success, such as working relationship and mutual trust, will be accounted for to understand possible effects found in the impact evaluation. The impact evaluation will follow a quasi-experimental design, involving the companies that took part in the project as well as a control group consisting of similar companies that will be selected using paired matching. Third, the survey will examine the reasons to whether or not participate in the pilot on cooperative compliance. Finally, based upon the results a framework will be developed. This framework will be twofold, revealing success indicators and legislative requirements to install a legal breeding ground for future initiatives. The research plan is innovative not only because it combines various research methods. It is also unique since the Belgian tax authorities have agreed to facilitate the research and to give access to information. Such access is seldom achieved. The research will be supervised by Prof. dr. Van de Vijver (tax aspects) and a second promotor, Prof. dr. Vanderhallen (methodological aspects). Prof. dr. Van de Vijver and prof. dr. Vanderhallen already collaborated regarding the topic of tax compliance and are both affiliated to Antwerp Tax Academy (interfaculty institute for tax science).

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  • Research Project

A study on IT business combination deliberation system cases and ways forward. 18/09/2018 - 17/09/2020

Abstract

A number of specific large conglomerates hold competitively dominant positions based on user data and increasingly exploit them to expand their business areas. In this context, voices have been raised to call for active regulation by competition authorities against the attempts to secure monopoly status by exploiting data. With respect to business combination deliberation, since the 2007 Google/DoubleClick business combination incident, competition authorities across the world including the EU have discussed various competition law issues on business combination deliberation involving IT companies and big data. To date Korea, however, has had no deliberation case on business combination of IT company involving big data, requiring relevant deliberation criteria for business combination. The study aims to examine the existing cases in the EU, at European level and in some of its member states including Belgium.

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  • Research Project

Study on crypto-currencies and blockchain: legal context and implications for financial crime, money laundering and tax evasion. 05/06/2018 - 29/06/2018

Abstract

More and more regulators are worrying about criminals who are increasingly using cryptocurrencies for illegitimate activities like money laundering, terrorist financing and tax evasion. The problem is significant: even though the full scale of misuse of virtual currencies is unknown, its market value has been reported to exceed €7 billion worldwide. This paper commissioned by Policy Department A for Economic, Scientific and Quality of Life Policies of the European Parliament elaborates on this phenomenon from a legal perspective, focusing on the use of cryptocurrencies for financial crime, money laundering and tax evasion. It contains policy recommendations for future EU standards.

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  • Research Project

The implementation of the new book XX Belgian Code of Economic Law to liberal professions and the particular consequences for their professional bodies (Orders and Institutes). 01/09/2017 - 01/07/2018

Abstract

The adoption of book XX of the Belgian Code of Economic Law engenders that so-called liberal professions are now subject to insolvency law. Book XX of the Code establishes specific rules for these liberal professions. Currently the factual implementation and the consequences of this new legislation for the liberal professionals and their professional bodies ('Orders and Institutes') is far from clear. The research project will analyze the scope of these rules and will elucidate how these rules should be implemented by the professional bodies of the different liberal professions.

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  • Research Project

Through the looking-glass of market citizenship and what EU citizens find there. 01/01/2017 - 31/12/2017

Abstract

Mobile Member States nationals enjoy a wide range of EU (market) citizenship rights. EU citizens living, working and residing in the internal EU area of freedom, security and justice are fully entitled to make use of their economic and civil rights in the EU legal order. In practice, however, EU citizenship rights are not fully realised. The research will identify current barriers encountered by EU citizens in Belgium, and formulate recommendations to solve the existing clash between EU citizenship rights (on the books) and their actual realisation in Belgium. The project combines the by now classical multilevel (EU – Member State) legal analysis with an internal comparative legal analysis of the Belgian legal order(s). The findings as to the EU citizen's rights regulatory framework at both EU and all Belgian levels will be complemented with Belgian case law, to guarantee that the findings are reality-proof, in that they will be based on crucial empirical legal data of what is happening in the daily life of EU citizens intending to exercise their EU citizenship rights in Belgium.

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  • Promoter: Van den Bossche Anne-Marie

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  • Research Project

Policy oriented research on the legal possibilities to remedy the neutrality of Flemish tax rules vis à vis the different form of cohabition 22/12/2016 - 21/05/2017

Abstract

Traditionally marriage was the fundamental basis of a family. Due to sociological developments, marriage gradually lost importance in favor of other forms of cohabitation who gained importance. In addition, a social movement of cohabitation other than in a family context arose. Renting a house together, cohousing, living centrally, kangaroo living, housing assistance, a service flat, residential community, and others... are becoming more common. Changes in the sociological context have to be followed by changes in the tax laws. This research starts from the premise of tax neutrality. Tax obstacles must not impede movements within society. Both the "Flemish Tax Codex" (Vlaamse Codex Fiscaliteit) and the Flemish personal income tax rules are subject to a thorough inspection.

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Fiscal State Aid and the role of National Judges within the EU Commission's Modernization Programme (Fiscal State Aid). 03/11/2016 - 02/11/2018

Abstract

This project aims at guaranteeing a higher level of knowledge as well as more awareness amongst national tax judges on the issues concerning fiscal state aids. In particular, improvement of knowledge will be guaranteed by focusing on the Modernization Programme developed by the EU Commission, . Emphasis will be put on the importance of a correct and effective application of EU law in matters of fiscal state aid – with particular reference to both the notion of fiscal state aid as developed by the EU Court of Justice and national recovery procedures (including enforcement by national judges).National tax judges will, therefore, be updated on the amendments to both the Block Exemption Regulation and the de minimis Regulation, within the context of the Modernization Programme. The role of national tax judges as EU judges – when assuring the correct application of the above-mentioned Regulations (with the possibility of referring cases to the EU Court of Justice) will be emphasised and analysed. .

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  • Research Project

Digital education and copyright. 01/10/2016 - 30/09/2017

Abstract

This research aims to identify the influence of copyright on digital teaching techniques. What are the limits copyright imposes on the various techniques of digital teaching? Through the research it has to become clear which actions need the permission of authors. To achieve these objectives, first an inventory must be made of the current and foreseeable digital teaching techniques. Through a survey, the staff of the University of Antwerp will be questioned about what digital teaching techniques they apply. It will also be examined to what extent this staff is aware of copyright issues. After this inventory, the rules of copyright will be applied on the inventoried teaching techniques. Through this application, it will become clear what actions will or will not require the permission of authors. Much attention will naturally be given to the copyright rules specifically provided for teaching and scientific research. Copyright provides exceptions to the rights of an author in order not to impede research and teaching. Regarding these copyright rules, both the current and future legislation will be analysed. The research will finally lead to a practical guide that can be used by the university staff. Through this guide it will be clear what actions need the permission of authors.

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  • Research Project

Between micro and macro: exploring the Single Supervisory Mechanism at the crossroads of micro- and macro-prudential supervision. 13/09/2016 - 22/03/2018

Abstract

The new architecture for prudential supervision intends to bolster financial stability. A twofold legal structure was introduced: the micro dimension considers the supervision of individual credit institutions and is managed by the ECB (for significant banks); the macro dimension focusses on imbalances in the financial system and is handled at national level. However both dimensions are strongly interconnected. This research envisages a critical analysis elucidating the dynamic interplay between micro- and macro-prudential supervision to foster a coherent approach by authorities at both EU and national level. The research is conducted primarily from a legal perspective, but is embedded in the economic context and will build on economic realities.

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  • Research Project

In-depth legal analysis on the 'Mandate of the Panama Inquiry Committee' 11/08/2016 - 30/09/2016

Abstract

As of the beginning of April 2016, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, together with numerous reporting partners from around the world, started revealing more than 214,000 offshore entities, connected to people in more than 200 countries and territories, including EU Member States. These revelations are known as the Panama Papers, following the origin of the information on which they are based: a massive leak of offshore financial records from a Panama based law firm. The Panama Papers exposed that often offshore entities were set up as shell companies, without a real underlying economic rationale or substance within the country where they were set up, to hide the true ownership or origin of the assets held by it, under which money held on banks accounts around the world, including the EU. Following the revelations set out in the Panama Papers, the European Parliament decided on 8 June 2016 to set up a special Committee of Inquiry to investigate alleged contraventions and maladministration in the application of Union law in relation to money laundering, tax avoidance and tax evasion. This research intends to serve as a preparatory document for the Committee of Inquiry's investigation and elaborates on the content and limits of its mandate.

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  • Research Project

Scientific Chair International Francqui Professor 2015-2016 (Prof. Wolfgang Schön) 01/10/2015 - 30/09/2016

Abstract

During his stay, prof. Schön wll perform research, teach "classes of excellence" for young researchers and organize a symposium in the domain of international fiscal law. The initiatives of the OECD in the fight against international fiscal planning and double non-taxation demonstrate that internationa fiscal law should be reformed. The predominantly national tax regulations are not sufficiently aligned, which causes international tax law no longer to reflect the globalized society. The chair is intended to advance research in this area. Together with researchers from ATA research, Professor Schön will conduct research that contributes to the redrawing of the fundamental rules of international fiscal law. The results of this study will be presented at a final symposium.

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Expert centre Taxation and Budget (2012-2015) 17/10/2014 - 31/12/2015

Abstract

This project concerns a research project between UA and the Flemish Government in order to deliver expert opinions and academic analysis on specific items in the field of taxation. Especially the impact of the Sixt Reform of the Belgian State on personal income tax and the reform of the Flemish inheritance taxes are subject of research.

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The execution of simulations in order to measure the impact of certain changes in the personal income tax 24/03/2014 - 31/08/2014

Abstract

This project represents a formal research agreement between UA and on the other hand FOD Financiën. UA provides FOD Financiën research results mentioned in the title of the project under the conditions as stipulated in this contract.

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Cracking the code of legal personality: closely held business ventures and the legal appraisal of their actions (Belgium, nineteenth century). 01/10/2013 - 30/09/2016

Abstract

The project aims at analyzing the legal appraisal of entity-like characteristics of firms in action, and at making recommendations with regard to present-day law on joint ventures and legal personality. For the period between 1804 (the year in which the Code civil, containing rules inter alia on partnerships, entered into force) and 1873 (when a broad legal-dogmatic concept of legal personality was inserted into Belgian law), the dealings of closely held contractual companies such as the VOF, the CV, the société commerciale (commerciële maatschap) and associations (and possibly other joint ventures with business goals, if they are found) will be examined. It will be studied how these actions were legally appraised, and how those juristic elements of appraisal can be used to legally support present-day closely held undertakings and associations.

Researcher(s)

  • Promoter: Van den Bossche Anne-Marie
  • Fellow: De ruysscher Dave

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  • Research Project

All Rights Reserved? Barriers towards EUropean CITIZENship (bEUcitizen). 01/05/2013 - 30/04/2017

Abstract

The project claims to be distinctive in its focus on (1) the interaction of rules and practices, as well as a focus on five multiples; (2) the multi-layered and (3) multi-dimensional character of European citizenship; (4) its multitudinous effects on different categories of citizens; (5) the existence of multiple barriers to the exercise of rights; and (6) the endeavour to investigate these with a multidisciplinary team of scholars.

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SMEs in EU law and policy. A Bildungsroman about coming of age and/in growing pains. 01/01/2013 - 31/12/2016

Abstract

The aim of the project is to assess the effectiveness of SME law and policy at both EU and Belgian level, by addressing the prevailing perception that the Internal Market has but very little to offer to European/Belgian SMEs. An investigation of present and future SME law and policy at EU and (sub)national level will allow to explore the legal validity of this claim and to adjust the European SME paradox.

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  • Promoter: Van den Bossche Anne-Marie

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  • Research Project

An optional instrument for the European Union. 03/05/2011 - 31/12/2011

Abstract

This project represents a research contract awarded by the University of Antwerp. The supervisor provides the Antwerp University research mentioned in the title of the project under the conditions stipulated by the university.

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The raison d'être and function of a European harmonized design protection alongside an expanding copyright protection. 01/01/2011 - 31/12/2014

Abstract

This research project examines whether the overall preference for design law protection is still in place and whether a copyright protection as a cost-effective replacement in knowledge-intensive economies is preferable.

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Bringing company law (back) to the future: commercial partnerships between flexibility and asset shielding (17th-18th, and 21st century). 01/10/2010 - 30/09/2013

Abstract

Under Belgian law, the legal figure of partnerships (maatschap) can be used for business. Yet commercial partnerships miss adequate asset protection and they are not adaptable enough to match commercial needs. These deficiencies date back to the nineteenth century, when certain legal features (equality of jointly liable partners, the absence of a business trust) were imposed on contractual companies. This operation went against an older and more flexible tradition. In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the civil law and merchants' practices were predominantly concerned with contractual commercial partnerships, and they covered diverse organisational schemes in combination with assets safeguarded for the venture. An analysis of legal texts and sources stemming from commercial practice of this period will yield juristic criteria and principles which will enrich present-day dogmatics on business trusts and on the organisation of commercial partnerships. The proposed project will allow to go beyond the typology of Belgian company law, will contribute to businesses tailored to entrepreneurs' wishes and may eventually be used to support European-legal developments.

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  • Promoter: Van den Bossche Anne-Marie
  • Co-promoter: Wallinga Tammo
  • Fellow: De ruysscher Dave

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  • Research Project

Credit for the Libraries in Social and Human Sciences (Faculty of Law). 15/09/2009 - 31/12/2012

Abstract

This project represents a research contract awarded by the University of Antwerp. The supervisor provides the Antwerp University research mentioned in the title of the project under the conditions stipulated by the university. The project aims to set up a model for well-balanced development of the law library as a laboratory for research and education in all domains of the law.

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  • Research Project

Liberalisation, globalisation and EC competition law and policy. About the importance of state aid control. 01/01/2009 - 31/12/2011

Abstract

From the outset, the European Community aims at the establishment of an internal market, with free movement of goods and services, and undistorted competition. Liberalisation and globalisation make the assessment by the European Commission of national interventionist measures more important than ever. State aid control also contributes to reaching the ambitious goals of the Lisbon strategy.

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  • Promoter: Van den Bossche Anne-Marie

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  • Research Project

Analysis of the test in French and the test in Dutch on the certified training of Level A from 2007, applying the general principles of tax law. 20/11/2008 - 19/11/2009

Abstract

This project contains a critical analysis of the test of level A of 2007 (French and Dutch) concerning the application of the general principles of tax law (in collaboration with Prof. dr. X. Parent, University of Liège)

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  • Research Project

'Agreements' with the tax authorities: limits, legal characterization and legal consequences. 01/10/2007 - 31/08/2009

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Belgium: State in Europe - Member State of Europe. 01/10/2007 - 30/09/2008

Abstract

Belgium is one of the founding states of the European Communities/European Union. From a EU-law point of view, its modus operandi within the European Union is part of its institutional autonomy. From a Belgian law point of view, the political and legal consequences of EU-membership for the federal state and the states are usually seen as (solely) pertaining to the domain of constitutionalists. This research aims at elucidating the theoretical and practical implications of Belgian EU-membership.

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  • Promoter: Van den Bossche Anne-Marie

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  • Research Project

Tax aspects of specific cross border cooperation between companies. 01/10/2006 - 30/09/2008

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'Agreements' with the tax authorities: limits, legal characterization and legal consequences. 01/10/2005 - 30/09/2007

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  • Research Project

National and international measures against tax evasion in its international context. 01/10/2004 - 30/09/2006

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  • Research Project

Flanders and other sub-national entities in the future European Constitution. 01/01/2004 - 31/12/2007

Abstract

The present research seeks to clarify how sub-national entities and especially Flanders participate in the European policy- and decision-making process and more specifically how participation can be optimalized in the near future. It focuses on one of the most important challenges, which the European Union faces on the eve of the accession of Central- and Eastern-European states, namely to bring the European institutions closer to its citizens. The project particularly focuses on how sub-national responsibilities at EU-level may bridge the gap between EU institutions and EU-citizens.

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On global economy and its impact on consumers in international and European law. 01/10/2002 - 31/12/2004

Abstract

One of the great challenges facing competition law around the world concerns the scope of co-operation in antitrust enforcement and convergence in antitrust views when reviewing international transactions. Differences in antitrust policies become more and more apparent as a result of the global economy. The present research proposal consists of a comparative analysis of the position of consu-mers in European and U. S .antitrust policy, since the treatment of consumer interests is strikingly different in both policies .

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  • Research Project

Permanent Establishment in a Charging World. An Eroded Tax Treaty Principle. The Allocation of Taxing Jurisdiction with respect to Business Profits. 01/10/2002 - 30/09/2004

Abstract

In international tax law the concept 'permanent establishment' is used to determine the authority of a certain state (i.e. the source state) to impose taxes on the profits gained by a foreign enterprise on her territory. This concept, developed at the end of the 19th century, presumes a sufficient material substance and economical alliance with the territory on which the activities take place. The purpose of this thesis is to examine whether the 'permanent establishment' concept is still an adequate instrument to allocate cross border profits to the source state. Indeed, due to several evolutions enterprises are no longer physically c.q. permanently present on the territory of the state where the proper activities take place. In this context reference can be made to the recent developments with respect to technology and communication (internet and electronic commerce), the increasing multi-national performance of activities, the evolution from a national to a global economy (global trading) and other developments often inspired by fiscal considerations.

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Legal aspects of the internationalisation and europeanisation of the economy. 01/10/2001 - 30/09/2004

Abstract

Increasingly, countries are eliminating their trade barriers and international trade truly spans the globe. The proposed research focuses on the `globalisation of the economy' and deals more precisely with the impact of the ever-changing economic environment on trade regulation and policy. The first general part of the research is devoted to an in-depth analysis of the legal organisation of the international economy, in which attention will be paid to international contract law and unification of European private law. This general analysis serves as a starting point for two precise analyses that complement the general part of the research. The first of the complementary analyses deals with competition law, extensively interpreted, including legislation concerning trade practices. Recent developments in this field of the law serve as an excellent illustration of the impact of globalisation on international contract law and of the possibilities and limits of the unification of European private law. Special attention will be paid to the precise role and position of the consumer in European and international competition law. The second analysis focuses more precisely on electronic commerce. This analysis should be seen as the coping-stone in which the results of the preceding analyses will be tested. Indeed the globalisation of the economy necessitates a reform of existing legislation in this domain. Adequate regulation or in other words liberalisation of electronic commerce is inextricably linked with the legitimate, but often conflicting interests of companies and consumers.

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  • Research Project