The shared economy has become a reality for a large part of society. Millions of people around the world, are using it, or have heard about it. Europe is no exception to this.The onset of this new economy creates a difficulty for legal and fiscal civil servants. How can they fit the concept of the shared economy in their fiscal and regulatory framework? It has been a heated subject in the capital of Europe, Brussels, where both AirBNB and Uber collided with the local and federal government. Both introduced a legal framework that made it more difficult for them to operate. AirBNB had launched a petition against an ordinance of the city of Brussels, and Uber had to remove their flagship service. Not just in Brussels, all over Europe there are initiatives to regulate these sort of companies.
The European Union has shown support for the shared economy. They warned member states that banning or restricting these entities should only be a last resort. Jyrki Katainen, the Commission vice-president and responsible for jobs, growth, investment and competitiveness, said stricter regulations on these companies could cost Europe. For the Guardian, he said: “We need a coherent approach if we want our dynamic start-ups to flourish or they will go somewhere else.”
In lieu of this, we at Access2Europe propose three players of the European collaborative economy, to meet the European Union. They will receive a platform to present themselves as invested players in Europe. AirBNB, Uber and BlaBlaCar are all three active players, and market leaders in this sector. They are in the midst of society when it comes to job opportunities, economic growth, digitalisation and competitiveness as well as on our smartphones. It speaks for itself that they ought to weight on the debate when it comes to the shared economy and its future in Europe.
Wytze Russchen has already successfully organised numerous events where the focus is on meeting the decision makers of the European Union. His extensive network as well as his more than 23 years of experience allow you to meet the right people. He has worked together with Lukoil, Nyrstar, BusinessEurope, The European Healthy Lifestyle Alliance and many others where at one such occasion we worked with Mr. Jyrki Katainen.
Through this proactive proposal, we would like to find out whether AirBNB, Uber and BlaBlaCar would be interested in a joint event to highlight the importance of a EU-wide legal framework and how this could develop.
The purpose of the event is threefold: For the participating companies to present themselves as invested players and their role in Europe, debating the future of collaborative economy and as a networking opportunity. With this in mind, Access2Europe proposes to invite a keynote speaker, a person of adequate influence. In order of priority, we were thinking off: 1. Frans Timmermans, First Vice-President of the European Commission 2. The EU commissioner Elżbieta Bieńkowska, responsible for internal market, industry, entrepreneurship and small and medium enterprises and 3. Jyrki Katainen, responsible for jobs, growth, investment and competitiveness. W
The second part of the reception will be for the CEO’s to present their companies, realizations and perspectives on how the European Union can help create an efficient framework for the collaborative Economy. We propose that each CEO gives a short introductory speech, after which we will hold a panel debate on the opportunities and strengths of the sharing economy sector. The purpose is to highlight the importance of the sharing economy in the world of today and the future. As is said on one of the favourite T-shirts of AirBNB’s CEO “Skate to where the puck is going not to where it’s been.” Moreover, the sharing economy offers opportunities for innovation in products, services and business models. Governments should create a legal framework to make full use of the possibilities this new type of economy offers instead of creating sector specific rules that might curb investments, innovation and growth. This of course, without it becoming a ‘parallel informal economy.’
After this debate, the public is allowed to ask questions towards the panel members. This might happen through a Twitter feed, or a more traditional approach.