European Commission guidance on the sharing economy - PwC comments

Published at 14:50 PM on 02 June 2016

In response to today’s European Commission guidance on the collaborative economy, Robert Vaughan, PwC economist, says:

“Our analysis for the European Commission shows activity in Europe’s sharing economy has accelerated over the past few years, generating revenues of nearly €4bn and facilitating around €28bn of transactions in 2015. Large US platforms investing heavily in their European operations, such as Airbnb and Uber, alongside home-grown start-ups, such as Blablacar and Just Park, scaling up quickly have helped to drive activity. Our analysis suggests that peer-to-peer transportation and accommodation were the largest sharing economy sectors in 2015. On-demand household services clocked up the fastest growth, driven by the growing popularity of online platforms offering ready-made food delivery services, such as Deliveroo, or DIY tasksharing services, such as Taskrabbit.

“Despite the significant progress the sharing economy has made in Europe, latest estimates suggest only 17% of consumers have participated in it, so there is plenty of potential for future growth. To encourage participation, policymakers and legislators will need to find the right balance between the rights of individuals and regional priorities for competitiveness, innovation and growth. The European Commission's announcement of a European Agenda for the sharing economy is a proactive first step on the journey to developing a consistent approach across the 28 member states. However, delivering it will require a flexible and collaborative mind-set from all involved, to experiment with new regulatory settings and policy innovations.

“The plan to establish a monitoring framework is a positive move that will enable member states to better understand the latest developments in the sharing economy whilst allowing them to learn from each other and share emerging best practices. Meanwhile, it is noticeable how the review and rating systems often embedded in peer-to-peer platforms have been cited by the Commission as having the potential to mitigate the need for regulation in some instances. In return, platforms can look to build on this olive branch, working closely with public bodies to make it easier for users to understand their legal obligations. All of these factors should make it easier to avoid absolute bans, inspiring engagement with, rather than shutting the door on sharing economy services.”

PwC’s analysis for the European Commission is available to download here: http://ec.europa.eu/DocsRoom/documents/16952/attachments/1/translations/en/renditions/native

Ends.

For further information please contact Tilly Parke: tilly.parke@uk.pwc.com / +44 20 7804 8761


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