Delany & Co has this week co-ordinated a campaign amongst 47 collaborative economy companies to convince leaders of the European Union to support collaborative economy businesses models in the upcoming Competitiveness Council at the end of February.
The companies – including European start ups looking to scale up, medium size enterprises aiming to grow across border and multinational platforms such as Airbnb and Uber – wrote to the Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, whose country currently holds the rotating presidency of the European Union, asking a stronger commitment to collaborative business models on the EU campaign to boost jobs and growth. The signatories came together to convince EU Ministers to support collaborative economy economic growth and ask them to ensure the development of the sector is not restricted by fragmented national laws.
The collaborative economy remains a hot topic in Europe. In its Single Market Strategy, the European Commission announced the development of a European agenda for the collaborative economy, including guidance on how existing EU law applies to collaborative economy business models. The upcoming Competitiveness Council meeting offers an excellent opportunity to discuss Member States’ views and best practice approaches to the collaborative economy, to reach a broad consensus on its economic potential, and to provide an initial political steer for the development of the European agenda.
A discussion paper published by the Netherlands Presidency entitled “Harnessing the potential of the collaborative economy” states: “There is significant potential to be found in collaborative economy models… Businesses may find new market opportunities and cost and resource efficiencies; innovative entrepreneurs can enter markets more easily; and previously unemployed or underemployed workers can make better use of their time and skills.”
The Commission will now come together to assess the impact of national laws and regulations, as it seeks to give greater impetus to cross-border investment and creating a digital single market. The letter urges Member States “…to support these objectives and to continue to seek to ensure that local and national laws do not unnecessarily limit the development of collaborative economy to the detriment of Europe”.