Urenio Watch Watch: Collective Intelligence

A European agenda for the collaborative economy

This report provided by the European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS) provides essential information regarding issues related to collaborative economy. These issues cover a wide range starting from its definition, to the application of  existing legislation, to the increasingly unclear distinction between consumers and  providers, employees and self-employed, as well as the professional and non- professional provision of services.


The ‘collaborative economy’ ‘“ also known as the ‘sharing economy’ ‘“ enables people  to share goods and services by using internet platforms and information and  communications technology applications. Due to its rapid growth, the collaborative  economy has recently raised regulatory issues in various sectors across the European  Union (EU).

It is argued that this new model of economic activity, with its focus on consuming  more efficiently, brings consumers lower prices and broader choice and enables them  to capitalise on their property and skills to generate extra income. A counter- argument stresses that this is causing market imbalances and unfair competition in  relation to traditional market players, because of non-regulated issues related to  labour standards and rights, consumer protection, taxation, liability, quality of  services and user safety.

To avoid a fragmented approach across the EU and growing uncertainty regarding  applicable rules while trying to prevent a potential stifling of innovation, the European  Commission published its guidance on the matter on 2 June 2016. ‘A European  agenda for the collaborative economy’ is to serve as policy orientation for Member  States to help ensure balanced development of the EU collaborative economy. In the  European Parliament, the Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee will  draft an own initiative report on the agenda.

You can read the full briefing here.