Chapter 4: IDENTIFYING A CATALYST TO RE-ENGINEER THE REGULATORY ENVIRONMENT
There may be disagreement about whether a self-regulatory regime is more effective in preventing abuses than franchise-specific regulations. There may also be little empirical evidence to prove irrefutably that franchise-specific disclosure and relationship laws have reduced abuse, sharp practice, commercial failure or the number of franchise disputes. Nevertheless, the lack of a homog- eneous regulatory environment in the EU is a barrier to cross-border trade and there is no realistic chance of an EU-wide self-regulatory regime being adopted. Eight EU member states regulate franchising in distinctly different ways. There is also a significant difference in the way that non-franchise- specific laws impact upon franchising.1 This heterogeneity creates legal barriers to interstate trade within the EU. It is suggested that a regulatory environment comprising harmonised legal eco-systems in each member state would facilitate easier cross-border franchising in the EU. This certainly seems to be the view of those most actively involved in franchising in the EU on a day to day basis.2 The EU ‘set itself the goal of making its economy the most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy in the world'.
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