Friday

20th Jul 2018

Focus

MEPs want more legal clarity on Airbnb and Uber

A group of cross-party MEPs has called on the European Commission to better explain how EU rules apply to the so-called sharing economy.

The European Parliament's committee on internal market and consumer protection (Imco) adopted a text on Wednesday (3 May) that praised the positive role the sharing economy can play in creating employment, increasing consumer choice and reducing the pressure on resources.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... our join as a group

  • MEPs say that there is legal uncertainty about when and how EU legislation applies. (Photo: Peter Teffer)

The phrase sharing economy - also known as collaborative economy or gig economy - refers to the phenomenon of online platforms that allow citizens to share or sell access to goods and services, in a way that has started uprooting traditional business models.

The most well-known examples are accommodation-rental platform Airbnb and ride-selling app Uber.

As the newcomers challenge traditional business models like the hotel and taxi sector, a lot of debate has arisen about whether their services adhere to EU legislation.

The Imco committee said there was a “lack of clarity among entrepreneurs, consumers and authorities as to how to apply current regulations in some areas”.

The MEPs said there were “regulatory grey areas” and that when member states each apply the rules in their own way, as they tend to do now in relation to the sharing economy, there is a “risk of fragmentation” in the EU's single market.

The text “welcomed” the fact that the European Commission, the EU's executive body, last year produced a set of guidelines on how to apply EU legislation.

However, they also said the commission's report “did not bring sufficient clarity about the applicability of existing EU legislation to different collaborative economy models”.

MEPs asked the commission and the EU's 28 national governments to come up with additional guidelines. They also noted that member state governments need to “step up enforcement of existing legislation”.

The Imco committee adopted the resolution with 31 votes in favour, one against, and three abstentions.

The text is non-binding and will need the support of the parliament. However, the exceptionally wide majority in committee means it is very likely to pass.

Uber: Goodbye Denmark, but not farewell

Ride-sharing service Uber has announced it will shut down activities in Denmark in protest over a new law introducing the same requirements for Uber as for other taxi services.

Uber is a transport service, EU court rules

Ruling means that national governments have the right to demand that Uber drivers request the same permits and authorisations required of taxi drivers.

Analysis

GDPR does not (yet) give right to global oblivion

The 'right to be forgotten' will become enshrined in EU law on Friday, but it is not yet clear to what extent it will apply. Will the EU's law determine how the internet looks globally?

Are EU data watchdogs staffed for GDPR?

The success of the new general data protection regulation (GDPR) will depend on whether data protection authorities enforce the new rules - which, in turn, will be at least partly determined by how many people they employ.

Are EU data watchdogs staffed for GDPR?

The success of the new general data protection regulation (GDPR) will depend on whether data protection authorities enforce the new rules - which, in turn, will be at least partly determined by how many people they employ.

Eight countries to miss EU data protection deadline

The EU starts enforcing its general data protection regulation on 25 May - but Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Lithuania and Slovenia won't be ready. The delay will cause legal uncertainty.

News in Brief

  1. Libyan PM rejects EU migrant camps idea
  2. Italy's Salvini to sue critical anti-mafia writer
  3. EU countries send aircraft to Sweden to help with wildfires
  4. British ex-commissioner's jobs called into question
  5. May to tell EU to drop Irish border 'backstop' idea
  6. Trump threatens EU over Google fine
  7. Spain withdraws arrest warrant for Catalan separatists
  8. EU readies counter-measures on possible US car tariffs

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. IPHRCivil society asks PACE to appoint Rapporteur to probe issue of political prisoners in Azerbaijan
  2. ACCASocial Mobility – How Can We Increase Opportunities Through Training and Education?
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersEnergy Solutions for a Greener Tomorrow
  4. UNICEFWhat Kind of Europe Do Children Want? Unicef & Eurochild Launch Survey on the Europe Kids Want
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Countries Take a Stand for Climate-Smart Energy Solutions
  6. Mission of China to the EUChina: Work Together for a Better Globalisation
  7. Nordic Council of MinistersNordics Could Be First Carbon-Negative Region in World
  8. European Federation of Allergy and AirwaysLife Is Possible for Patients with Severe Asthma
  9. PKEE - Polish Energy AssociationCommon-Sense Approach Needed for EU Energy Reform
  10. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Region to Lead in Developing and Rolling Out 5G Network
  11. Mission of China to the EUChina-EU Economic and Trade Relations Enjoy a Bright Future
  12. ACCAEmpowering Businesses to Engage with Sustainable Finance and the SDGs

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us