SMART Reflections on Policy Coherence, Legal Developments in the Netherlands and the Case for EU Harmonisation

By Beate Sjåfjell, University of Oslo and Jeroen Veldman, City University of London

23 February 2022, Erasmus Law Review

Image may contain: Product, Font, Material property, Magenta, Graphics.Afterword to Erasmus Law Review Special Issue Towards Responsible Business Conduct in Global Value Chains.


The EU-funded project Sustainable Market Actors for Responsible Trade (SMART, 2016-2020), undertook an interdisciplinary and multilevel regulatory analysis of the barriers and possibilities for securing the contribution of private and public market actors to a sustainable future. Jurisdiction-specific contributions were an essential part of this broad regulatory analysis. This afterword reflects on the Dutch contributions included in this Special Issue, emphasising the urgency of securing policy coherence for sustainable business. The afterword highlights how individual initiatives by national legislators such as those of the Netherlands can be inspiring examples, while they also bring with them challenges including questions of scope and of legal certainty for businesses, specifically with regard to cross-border operations and activities. This leaves business with the difficult task of figuring out the various requirements and expectations and may lead to regulatory competition between EU member states. The afterword therefore concludes with a call for EU harmonisation, to give sustainability-oriented business a level playing field and provide legal certainty both for decision-makers in business and for those affected by the conduct of business across global value chains.

Erasmus Law Review, Vol. 4, 2019, Available at SSRN:

Published Feb. 23, 2022 9:09 AM - Last modified Aug. 22, 2022 3:35 AM