Recent activities


Eurobonds, jointly issued public debt instruments of the Euro Area Member States, have been much in focus in the context of the debate on ending the crisis in the Euro Area.

In November 2011, a group of experts submitted a proposal for the joint issue of public debt instruments by Euro area member states. In January 2012, they submitted a revised proposal: The ELEC "Euro T-Bill Fund" A proposal for a two-year refinancing for all € bills/optional refinancing of bond maturities until 2015. Prof. Smits wrote the legal chapter for this proposal which has been submitted as a reply in the European Commission's consultation on 'stability bonds'. The ELEC proposal can be found on the websites of the European League for Economic Cooperation (ELEC) and of Graham Bishop.

An expert group on possible joint debt issuance was established by the European Commission in July 2013. It was chaired by former ECB Executive Board member Ms. Gertrude Tumpell-Gugerell, and included Graham Bishop and former Dutch central banker Lex Hoogduin. The expert group submitted its report into the merits and risks, legal requirements and financial consequences of initiatives for the joint issuance of debt in the form of a redemption fund and Eurobills in March 2014.

Islamic finance and the influence of religion on the law

The proceedings of a seminar on Islamic finance and the influence of religion on the law, held during the 74th biennial conference of the International Law Association, in The Hague in August 2010, are published by Eleven international publishing. As the editor, Prof. Smits brings together the presentations of the panellists and a contribution on whether Shari’a compliant finance would have diminished the impact of the financial crisis, and whether Islamic finance could thus contribute to a more balanced and sustainable economic system. The book also contains the Surahs from the Qu’ran on the prohibition of riba (interest) and the verses of the Tanach (Hebrew Bible) on the prohibition of interest and the Jubilee year.