Friday

6th Aug 2021

Magazine

How Europe manages the sharing economy

  • Smartphones have made it easy for the sharing economy to take off. (Photo: CAFNR)

Like me, you have probably seen Europe's cities change in the past few years.

Bike couriers in Strasbourg that no longer work for a single pizza delivery shop, but instead are traversing the streets with hot meals from an array of different restaurants.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

  • The 2017 edition of EUobserver's Business in Europe magazine takes a closer look at the sharing economy. (Photo: EUobserver)

Tourists dragging their trolley suitcases through the residential streets of Amsterdam, clearly staying at someone's apartment instead of a hotel.

Or the counter-reaction: protests in Brussels by taxi drivers who feel they cannot compete with people offering the same or similar service, but who are able to circumvent regulation and save money by driving without the need for a taxi permit.

This phenomenon of ordinary citizens offering services or goods through an online platform has become known in everyday parlance as the "sharing economy".

Not everyone agrees on the definition of the "sharing economy", as I explain in another article in this magazine, or even what to call this development.

For instance, EU lawmakers prefer to speak of the "collaborative economy", while others refer to the "gig" or "access-based" economy.

Whatever you decide to call it, the trend is here.

Sharing via the internet is not new, as Eszter Zalan explains in her article about the sharing pioneers who were never interested in profit-making.

But Jean Comte and Dave Keating will tell you that the meteoric rise of for-profit platforms has kept courts busy, while Lisbeth Kirk delves into how the sharing economy can be taxed.

Finally, Nikolaj Nielsen takes us into the future, where new technologies may make current platforms obsolete, the same way they are challenging traditional businesses.

I am very happy to share these thought-provoking stories with you.

This story was originally published in EUobserver's 2017 Business in Europe Magazine.

Click here to access EUobserver's entire magazine collection.

Magazine

Share you in court

Regulatory systems were not ready for the sharing economy, and now the battle has moved from the streets to the halls of justice.

Magazine

Uber still divides Europe

Uber says national regulations are often outdated, but taxi drivers still see the app as unfair competition.

Magazine

What is European Business?

EUobserver, in its new Business in Europe Magazine, looks at business in the EU context

Magazine

The Business of Nature

The European Commission plans to unveil a new bioeconomy strategy on Thursday. EUobserver's third edition of Business magazine looked at the many aspects of the bioeconomy – the parts of the economy that use renewable biological resources.

Magazine

A sustainable death wish

No one can escape death. But choices over how one's body is disposed of could either lessen or increase your carbon footprint.

News in Brief

  1. EU secures deal with Novavax for potential Covid-19 vaccine
  2. France fined €10m for failing to tackle air pollution
  3. Fire near Athens forces thousands to evacuate
  4. EU to Lebanon: 'deliver results' on Beirut blast probe
  5. Belarus opposition leader demands regime end
  6. Croatia's border-monitoring of migrant rights 'falls short'
  7. Court stops Austria's Afghan deportation, as conflict worsens
  8. 'Missing' Belarus exiles group chief found dead in Kyiv

Magazine

The Business of Nature

The European Commission plans to unveil a new bioeconomy strategy on Thursday. EUobserver's third edition of Business magazine looked at the many aspects of the bioeconomy – the parts of the economy that use renewable biological resources.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNineteen demands by Nordic young people to save biodiversity
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersSustainable public procurement is an effective way to achieve global goals
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Council enters into formal relations with European Parliament
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersWomen more active in violent extremist circles than first assumed
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersDigitalisation can help us pick up the green pace
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersCOVID19 is a wake-up call in the fight against antibiotic resistance

Latest News

  1. Italy seeks EU help on migrant boat arrivals
  2. WHO calls for vaccine-booster pause to help poor countries
  3. Romania selling on its jabs, despite low vaccination rates
  4. Cyprus' Varosha is Erdogan's canary in the coalmine
  5. Europe sees drop in Covid-19 cases
  6. Burkinis and 'soul caps' - policing Olympic women back in fashion
  7. Telegram groups lure migrant hopefuls to Lithuania
  8. Third-time lucky for one Syrian grandmother in Denmark

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us