The Collaborative Economy is one of the most significant economic developments of the last decade. The social, economic and environmental benefits brought by the Collaborative Economy are substantial, as communities are brought closer together, services are improved and assets are maximised. Gross revenue in the European Union from collaborative platforms and providers was estimated to be EUR 28 billion in 2015.
Nonetheless there are concerns, despite the benefits the Collaborative Economy brings. Policy makers have struggled to reconcile the opportunities with their existing legal frameworks and competition with traditional industries. EU members have acknowledged that the Collaborative Economy is not a short-term phenomenon but an important long-term driver for positive change and economic growth. Change, however, can take time.
In June 2016, in order to help European Member States reap the benefits of the Collaborative Economy and clarify the application of EU law, the European Commission published its ‘European Agenda for the Collaborative Economy.’ The Commission’s Communication¹ addresses the 5 areas of ‘Market Access Requirements,’ ‘Liability Regimes,’ ‘Protection Of Users,’ ‘Self-employed And Workers,’ and ‘Taxation.’
Over the past months, EUCoLab has been gathering examples of regulatory best practice that has been led by national or local governments or by companies that help promote the Collaborative Economy. There are many examples of laws and policies that limit the development of this sector. However, we wanted to promote the best work that has been done and provide a reference tool for policymakers, academics, business, or any stakeholder that might be interested in the development of regulation and policy for the Collaborative Economy.
The potential for Europe is huge – according to some experts, better use of our capacities and assets could lead to economic gains of €160-572 billion across the EU. There are big caveats to the figure – barriers and impediments may well mean that much of this is not realised. However, few would disagree that regulatory and policy best practice is both within our grasp and will have an enormous impact on our ability to responsibly harness the potential of the Collaborative Economy. We will keep this directory updated quarterly as new policies hopefully emerge from around the world.
If you think we are missing anything in our directory, then please let us know! firstname.lastname@example.org