EU Leads Support for the Collaborative Economy

The European Commission will lead support for the collaborative economy and a clear and consistent set of principles across Europe. In a communication released today, the Commission highlights that collaborative platforms are promoting entrepreneurship, empowering consumers, delivering services in more efficient and innovative ways and contributing to environmental sustainability.

The Commission highlights that users of collaborative economy services are subject to a large number of national, regional and local rules that differ across Europe. This has led to a fragmented regulatory landscape and local rules that are not always in the public interest.

The Commission is calling for greater clarity for the collaborative economy in Europe and will work with European member states to promote the balanced development of the collaborative business models and ensure their benefits are available widely.

The Commission will educate member states on how existing EU rules already apply to these business models and will lead calls to ensure unnecessary barriers to participation in the collaborative economy are removed. Crucially for Airbnb hosts, it will also advocate rules that clearly distinguish between professional and non-professional activity.

The collaborative economy is already bringing tremendous benefits to Europe and is making new experiences and economic opportunities available to countless regular people. Last year alone, Airbnb hosts in Europe earned almost $3 billion. We know many hosts rely on this additional income to make end meets and are proud to have worked with cities on progressive rules to support them, including London, Amsterdam, Milan and Lisbon.

These and many other cities have taken a progressive and proactive approach to regulating the collaborative economy. Together we are working on innovative measures to promote clear, fair and proportionate rules, boost tax revenues and support regular people who share their homes to pay the bills.

In some other cities, we see that complex, burdensome and disproportionate regulations often hit working people and families who need this income the most.

We agree that the benefits of this new economic movement should be available as widely as possible and that applicable rules should be clear, proportionate and easy for regular people to follow. Europe has the potential to be the world leader for the collaborative economy and the guidance issued by the Commission is a valuable tool to ensure a clear, stable and consistent regulatory environment for collaborative economy users across Europe.

Last year, we published the Community Compact, our pledge to cities and what they can expect from us, including greater transparency, to treat cities as individuals and to collaborate on measures to boost tax revenues. Together with the guidance published by the Commission today, policymakers in Europe have more tools and support available to them than ever before.

We look forward to building on these important discussions with policymakers across Europe and to working on progressive measures that support home sharing and the growth of the broader collaborative economy in Europe.