Sunday

20th Aug 2017

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.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now and get 40% off for an annual subscription. Sale ends soon.

  1. €90 per year. Use discount code EUOBS40%
  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.

  • 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.

Investigation

Fines on open internet vary greatly in EU

The fine for violating the EU principle of net neutrality is €9,600 in Estonia, while it can be up to €1 million in Bulgaria, Luxembourg, and Belgium.

News in Brief

  1. Macedonia sacks top prosecutor over wiretap scandal
  2. ECB concerned stronger euro could derail economic recovery
  3. Mixed Irish reactions to post-Brexit border proposal
  4. European Union returns to 2 percent growth
  5. Russian power most feared in Europe
  6. Ireland continues to refuse €13 billion in back taxes from Apple
  7. UK unemployment lowest since 1975
  8. Europe facing 'explosive cocktail' in its backyard, report warns

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. European Healthy Lifestyle AllianceDoes Genetics Explain Why So Few of Us Have an Ideal Cardiovascular Health?
  2. EU2017EEFuture-Themed Digital Painting Competition Welcomes Artists - Deadline 31 Aug
  3. ACCABusinesses Must Grip Ethics and Trust in the Digital Age
  4. European Jewish CongressEJC Welcomes European Court of Justice's Decision to Keep Hamas on Terror List
  5. UNICEFReport: Children on the Move From Africa Do Not First Aim to Go to Europe
  6. Centre Maurits CoppietersWe Need Democratic and Transparent Free Trade Agreements Says MEP Jordi Solé
  7. Counter BalanceOut for Summer, Ep. 2: EIB Promoting Development in Egypt - At What Cost?
  8. EU2017EELocal Leaders Push for Local and Regional Targets to Address Climate Change
  9. European Healthy Lifestyle AllianceMore Women Than Men Have Died From Heart Disease in Past 30 Years
  10. European Jewish CongressJean-Marie Le Pen Faces Trial for Oven Comments About Jewish Singer
  11. ACCAAnnounces Belt & Road Research at Shanghai Conference
  12. ECPAFood Waste in the Field Can Double Without Crop Protection. #WithOrWithout #Pesticides