De-Regulating the Sharing Economy: European Commission Publishes Guidelines to Promote National Harmonization

Back in October 2015, as part of its Single Market Strategy, the European Commission declared that it would develop an agenda to encourage consumers, businesses and public authorities to engage confidently in the sharing economy (also known as the “collaborative economy”), where private individuals provide on-demand services to other people, without intermediaries. This peer-to-peer model is facilitated by online platforms which act as match makers. Millions of these transactions happen every day across Europe, generating an estimated € 28 billion in the EU in 2015. These platforms can promote new employment opportunities, flexible working arrangements and new sources of income for individual service providers, while encouraging the development of new services, an extended supply, and lower prices for consumers.

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