Members' Research Service By / November 7, 2016

A European agenda for the collaborative economy

Written by Jana Valant, The ‘collaborative economy’ – also known as the ‘sharing economy’ – enables people to share goods…

© juliabatsheva/Fotolia

Written by Jana Valant,

Collaborative Consumption Concept Illustration
© juliabatsheva/Fotolia

The ‘collaborative economy’ – also known as the ‘sharing economy’ – enables people to share goods and services by using internet platforms and information and communications technology applications. Due to its rapid growth, the collaborative economy has recently raised regulatory issues in various sectors across the European Union (EU).

It is argued that this new model of economic activity, with its focus on consuming more efficiently, brings consumers lower prices and broader choice and enables them to capitalise on their property and skills to generate extra income. A counter-argument stresses that this is causing market imbalances and unfair competition in relation to traditional market players, because of non-regulated issues related to labour standards and rights, consumer protection, taxation, liability, quality of services and user safety.

To avoid a fragmented approach across the EU and growing uncertainty regarding applicable rules while trying to prevent a potential stifling of innovation, the European Commission published its guidance on the matter on 2 June 2016. ‘A European agenda for the collaborative economy’ is to serve as policy orientation for Member States to help ensure balanced development of the EU collaborative economy. In the European Parliament, the Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee will draft an own initiative report on the agenda.

Read the complete briefing on ‘A European agenda for the collaborative economy‘.

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  • This collaborative or sharing economy is a misnomer. The Blog is reporting the European Commission’s recent guidelines on the issue of regulation of ‘no holds barred’ situation like Uber, a pioneer in exploiting the ‘Dormant capacities of Investments in assets’ for gainful use. The hidden/ idle capacities in the economy
    are a great booster of productivity of idling assets. Like in any business, consumer protection is necessary. Labor exploitation also need regulatory protection . Both of these constituencies are the weakest link in the society. Regulators must be alert to developing situations. The European commission guidelines are a modest beginning of larger complicated issue of regulation requirements of future. The right expression should be ‘activating dormant assets’ in the economy for increasing supply without fresh investments and reducing the prices of services encouraging more consumption.

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