Increasing the labour market relevance of VET provision and reducing skills mismatches and shortages in the new booming "Sharing Economy" sector.

European tourism trade unions criticizes new guidelines

European Union flags in front of the Berlaymont building (European commission) in Brussels, Belgium.

By Jakob Esmann

Sharing economy:The new EU guidelines on the sharing economy dissatisfies the EFFAT. They play the ball back into the field of Member States and are calling for lowering standards, EFFAT tourism secretary says.

On 2 June, the European Commission published its new guidelines to the member states on how to apply existing EU rules and EU laws on the new sharing economy.


Mostly, the European Commission appears to be positive towards the growing collaborative economy. The new online-driven industry is seen to “promote new employment opportunities, flexible working arrangements and new sources of income” and has many benefits for the European consumers such as “new services, an extended supply, and lower prices”.


As a response to the guidance, Kerstin Howald, EFFAT Tourism Sector Secretary, says:
“We regret that the Commission, instead of giving clear guidance on how to find Europe-wide solutions for these problems, and to ensure a level-playing field and fair competition, it plays the ball back into the field of Member States and collaborative platforms, and calls for lowering standards, self-regulation and voluntary action”.


No absolute bans, EU commission warns


The above-mentioned criticism is the result of a set of guidelines that advices European countries to consider new digital platforms’ needs in existing employment legislation and to modernise market access requirements. Furthermore, member states should “assess their tax rules to create a level playing field for businesses providing the same service”.


Furthermore, the Commission said, “absolute bans” on new platforms like Uber and Airbnb “should only be used as a measure of last resort”. This is good news for the fans of Uber and Airbnb.


However, the commission also states that there are problems regarding the legal framework, for instance on whether you are an employee or self-employed. In addition, the platforms and partners should pay taxes like other service providers.


According to European Commission Vice-President Jyrki Katainen, the collaborative economy has a huge economic potential.


“Our role is to encourage a regulatory environment that allows new business models to develop while protecting consumers and ensuring fair taxation and employment conditions,” he said.