Are you traveling to Europe soon? Turns out the European Commission may make your stay at Airbnb more expensive

Posted by Bianca Wilk

Airbnb, Uber, TaskRabbit and 44 other sharing economy companies signed an open letter to the leadership of the European Union. The letter is urging the Council of the EU not to limit the development of the collaborative economy.

Why the letter now?

At this time, the European Commission is working on new guidelines on how to apply existing regulation to the  sharing economy. Airbnb and Uber that have clearly shaken up the hotel and taxi sectors. Concerns are growing about unfair competition.

Lately, Uber had to deal with a lot of opposition since protests from taxi drivers are spreading in several European countries. Uber is being accused of unfair competition; taxes, licensing and insurance are some of the main issues. Lawsuits against Uber are piling up. The warm glow has also come off Airbnb as well.  Repeatedly we read headline stories about how Airbnb guests have trashed hosts’ homes or been personally attacked by hosts.

47 companies in total signed the letter in which they point out the value of the collaborative economy and the benefits which the platforms can deliver for European consumers. They point out:

  • allowing more efficient allocation of supply and demand,
  • creating new sources of income,
  • promoting micro-entrepreneurship,
  • flexible working,
  • offering greater market choice and convenience.

“We urge Member States to support these objectives and continue to seek to ensure that local and national laws do not unnecessarily limit the development of the collaborative economy to the detriment of Europeans”

The European Commission will announce its guidelines in mid-2016. Do you think there is really a conflict of taxi drivers versus Uber and hotels versus Airbnb?  Is the sharing economy supposed to fit into the old models or does the EU have to change their laws?

A collaborative economy is the future and there is a lot of space for improvement. Vijilent is taking a step forward, working every day on fostering trust in the sharing economy.  

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