Smart contracting (SC) is a proactive proposal to operationalize the relational contract theory for the upgrade and improvement of legally relevant exchange. The dynamic institutional environment of the European Union (EU) is a suitable framework for this proposal. SC addresses the interests of the business management, law and information technology practices with a perspective of influence in digital exchange, communication processes and other human and human-machine interactions. This position paper restates the advantages of the concept by highlighting the practical transition pathway SC offers to moderate the growing haste towards the embeddedness of exchange in automated and distributed models. This theoretical contribution supports the systematization of the proactive and legal design research field, and explains the characterization, operationalization and specification of the SC concept.