Friday

17th Nov 2017

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.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

  • 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

Sharing economy: Lobbyists educate EU officials

The European Collaborative Economy Forum, a trade association, has recently started doing advocacy work, while Uber increased its spending on EU lobbying significantly.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. European Jewish CongressAntisemitism in Europe Today: Is It Still a Threat to Free and Open Society?
  2. Counter BalanceNew Report: Juncker Plan Backs Billions in Fossil Fuels and Carbon-Heavy Infrastructure
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic countries prioritise fossil fuel subsidy reform
  4. Mission of China to the EUNew era for China brings new opportunities to all
  5. ACCASmall and Medium Sized Practices Must 'Offer the Whole Package'
  6. UNICEFAhead of the African Union - EU Summit, Survey Highlights Impact of Conflict on Education
  7. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Council Calls for Closer Co-Operation on Foreign Policy
  8. Swedish EnterprisesTrilogue Negotiations - Striking the Balance Between Transparency and Efficiency
  9. Access EuropeProspects for US-EU Relations Under the Trump Administration - 28 November 2017
  10. World Vision20 November: Exchange of Views at the EP on Children Affected by the Syria Crisis
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersSustainable Growth the Nordic Way: Climate Solutions for a Sustainable Future
  12. EU2017EEHow Data Fuels Estonia's Economy

Latest News

  1. EU keeps former Soviet states at arm's length
  2. EU leaders make pledge on social issues after populist backlash
  3. EU agencies and eastern neighbours This WEEK
  4. Germany slams Dutch call for more ambitious EU climate goal
  5. Mind the gap: inequality in our cities
  6. Climate activists 'disappointed' with EU at climate talks
  7. Davis outlines UK vision on Brexit in Berlin
  8. German coalition talks in near collapse