Ride-hailing, home-sharing, meal-delivery, and other forms of digitally powered task-sharing are creating jobs and growth in Europe – and significant policy challenges.
What should be the responsibilities of these new platforms, how should workers be classified, and how can insurers and others provide services to this new type of economic activity? Above all, what Europe-wide rules are required for the single market to work for the collaborative economy?
This new report provides some answers to these questions. It completes the work of a year-long Task Force comprising corporate, union, and city representatives, along with leading academics
Without reform, Europe risks falling behind in this new area of economic activity. Platforms, both European and non-European, face a labyrinth of local, often contradictory, rules. Their legal status as either internet society platforms or as transport or accommodation providers remains unclear. Most taxi and accommodation regulations date from the pre-internet era.
Task Force members concurred that the present regulations must be modernised. While there were differences of opinion about the proper balance between local and European rules, members agreed that platforms should take on new responsibilities to combat illegal activities and share information and data on their users with cities – provided privacy rules are respected. They agreed that sectoral rules need to be updated to create a level playing field between hotels and short-term private rentals, and taxi and ride-hailing drivers. That workers should receive increased social protection was unanimously agreed by Task Force members – but not, crucially, that they be considered as employees.
CEPS acknowledges support from Airbnb, Badi, Bolt, FREE NOW, Uber and, Zurich Insurance for this Task Force,
which was, however, conducted in complete independence.
The authors take full responsibility for their findings.
Task Force Rapporteur: William Echikson, CEPS Associate Fellow
Project Manager and Contact person for more information: Jesse Goldberg: firstname.lastname@example.org
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