Airbnb and Uber: it’s time for regulations

Airbnb and Uber: it’s time for regulations

Lyft car in San Francisco ( Source: wikimedia)

Europe opens the door to the sharing economy. Uber and Airbnb are looking for a global expansion, and now more than ever there is the common need to write rules that have to be clearer and equal for all. For this reason majors from numerous cities are coming together to provide a collective answer rather than continuing to act on city-by-city basis. Regulation is a big hurdle for companies like this, specially when they are expanding. They need to convince lawmakers to side with them; they have strong arguments in their favor, as both companies have a positive impact on cities and creates jobs.

Why the need for regulations emerged?

To avoid some negative circumstances. In New York Uber has been accused of running an antitrust scheme or Airbnb to become a platform for unregulated hotels. In France Uber faced  riots amid taxi strikes to its executives being fined by a judge. Uber is the start-app most financed in the world. It’s not quite easy to face this kind of situation because competition in markets is very strong.

Regulations are needed and the challenge has began. In Paris, Airbnb’s most popular destination, they started collecting a tourist tax on behalf of the cities.

The new guidelines of the EU Commission aim at distinguishing between those who provide personal car or house occasionally, to “round up”, and those who do it full time and professionally. These “sharing” services may be prohibited by national governments only as an extreme measure. However the decision is up to individual Member States, which must adapt national legislation, but may do it on their behalf because the indications of Brussels are general and not legally binging.

This is what has been said:” “Establish minimum thresholds under which economic activity can be considered a non-professional one between peer without having to meet the same requirements that apply to a service provider that operates on a professional basis.”

In this way it will be possible to divide who can provide a sharing economy service and who can no longer do so. It can depend by the income that is derived from these activities or the number of days. If there is an employment relationship for which the service provider is dependent it shall apply in full legislations on licenses, taxation, liabilities and social rights.

“You cannot impose a total ban on these activities” of sharing economy “if the reason is to protect existing business models”, these are the words of the Commissioner for the internal market Elzbieta Bienkowska.

It is not an easy and fast process but governments hope for a full collaboration from this platform. The main scope is to maintain the idea of participative economy, creating a cooperation with the istitutions.

Airbnb e Uber si stanno espandendo a livello globale. La sharing economy si affaccia in Europa.  È arrivato il momento di applicare delle regole che siano generali, uguali e valide per tutti. Bisogna fare una distinzione tra chi offre questi servizi occasionalmente e chi lo fa a livello professionale, in questo è necessario un contratto da dipendente e agire secondo licenze, tasse e responsabilità.