The collaborative economy is a new way to offer and use products and services through online platforms. It covers many sectors and provides new opportunities for everybody. And it is wider than a few well-known companies: many imaginative people in Europe are developing new business models.
The collaborative economy is growing rapidly and as it takes root in the EU, national and local authorities are responding with a patchwork of different regulatory actions. This fragmented approach to new business models creates uncertainty for traditional operators, new services providers and consumers alike and may hamper innovation, job creation and growth.
Therefore, the European Commission today presented guidance aimed at supporting consumers, businesses and public authorities to engage confidently in the collaborative economy. These new business models can make an important contribution to jobs and growth in the European Union, if encouraged and developed in a responsible manner.
The Communication, which was announced in the Single Market Strategy, explains how existing EU law should be applied to this dynamic and fast-evolving sector, clarifying key issues faced by market operators and public authorities alike, namely market access requirements, consumer protection, liability, labour law and tax.