The collaborative economy is developing fast and Europe should not leave the opportunities of this digital revolution to the US. The sharing economy has meant EU citizens can now enjoy lower prices, greater choice and tailored services, like BlaBlaCar or AirBnB, while entrepreneurs can profit from new business opportunities. Online platforms and IT technology applications like Google or TransferWise etc are more and more in use in everyday life.
Henna Virkkunen MEP who co-wrote the Report 'Online Platforms and Digital Single Market' with Philippe Juvin MEP acknowledges the importance of the online platforms markets and warns that the EU is still regrettably lagging behind its American and Asian counterparts. “We need to promote the growth of online platforms in Europe and strengthen the ability of European platforms to scale-up and to compete globally. A level playing field, innovation-friendly environment and future-proof digital infrastructure are keys to success”, she said.
The spread of social media has given rise to new phenomena, such as fake news. This has opened up the question of responsibility of online platforms for the content that people share. Philippe Juvin highlighted: “We must adopt common rules on digital platforms as regards their definition, the question of their responsibility, B2B relations and the emergence of unfair practices”. Juvin is also keen to stress that the time has come to put an end to the platform's total lack of responsibility regarding the content they publish online. As regards taxation, Juvin believes that "platforms have to pay their taxes where they have their customers and users."
Anna Maria Corazza Bildt MEP confirmed: "Trust is the new currency in our Digital Single Market. We have to enable and facilitate the boost of the cross-border shared economy by addressing hurdles, hinders and fragmentation. New legislation at EU level is not needed at this stage but rather full enforcement of existing rules." Corazza Bildt is the EPP Group's Spokeswoman for the Report 'European Agenda for the Collaborative Economy'.
The EPP Group strongly supports the development of the collaborative economy as a useful tool to boost innovation and growth and will back the two Reports ‘Online Platforms and Digital Single Market’, and ‘European Agenda for the Collaborative Economy’, set to be voted on by the European Parliament today.