by Deepti Bal
Delany and Co have just returned from our EuCoLab Forum in Brussels, a roundtable for industry and policy makers to strategize about the collaborative economy and its role in Europe’s digital market.
Innovators from dynamic European startups, as well as global brands such as Uber and Airbnb, joined policymakers to discuss challenges across the collaborative economy.
Future activities for this year will focus on a series of roundtable discussions with policymakers, focusing on how trust works in the collaborative economy, the role of policymakers in relation to the industry, and how platforms are shaping service models to efficiently meet consumer demand of the future.
The time was ripe to have this roundtable which fed perfectly into the Internal Market Strategy that the European Commission launched this past Wednesday. The European Commission presented a new Single Market Strategy aiming to shape a far reaching and fairer Single Market, serving equally its consumers and businesses.
The Single Market and the Internal Market Strategy
The Single Market is undoubtedly one of Europe’s greatest achievements. According to Forbes, the revenue flowing through the collaborative economy directly into people’s wallets will surpass $3.5 billion this year, with annual growth exceeding 25%. At this rate, the collaborative economy has developed into a disruptive economic force – bringing massive opportunities for Europeans.
But, the Single Market is in its infancy, rules may not be properly understood or implemented and are sometimes undermined by additional barriers.
How does the EC’s Internal Market Strategy embrace a European collaborative economy?
Enabling the balanced development of a collaborative economy
The Internal Market Strategy confirms that the Commission intends to provide guidance on existing regulations. It will also assess whether there are regulatory gaps and how they need to be addressed without favouring one business model over another.
At the same time, the Commission makes clear that public policy objectives such as consumer protection must be respected and tax and labour law must be complied with.
Making the market without borders for services a practical reality
Whilst it remains a national prerogative to regulate professions, national rules sometimes make it difficult for platforms to establish themselves and provide services across member states.
The Commission plans to introduce a services passport and support Member States in their efforts to modernise regulated professions. It will design ways to legally address regulatory barriers and review market developments and, if necessary, take action in connection with insurance requirements for businesses.
Helping collaborative economy start-ups to grow
SMEs, start-ups and young entrepreneurs who want to succeed and grow in the EU still face many obstacles. Raising capital is difficult and the complexity of VAT regulations and complying with a myriad of national policies across various countries hampers development.
The Internal Market confirms that in addition to providing EU funding instruments, the Commission will commit to improving companies’ access to private finance through the Investment Plan and the Capital Markets Union.
The Commission aims to simplify VAT requirements, reduce the cost of company registration and put forward a proposal on insolvency to give entrepreneurs who fail a second chance.
Information on regulatory requirements should be accessible through a single digital gateway and the Commission will push for high quality, online public services to reduce administrative burdens.
Get involved in the development of a collaborative economy for Europe
The European Collaborative Economy Business Forum, also known as EUCoLab, was recently launched by Delany & Co.
The Forum has been set up to provide a place for European collaborative economy companies and policymakers to come together to ensure that Europe fully embraces and supports the opportunities presented by this new economy.
If you’d like to be involved in the European Collaborative Economy Forum or learn more about our objectives, please email email@example.com