On October 16th, the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, ACCA, organised a conference on the collaborative economy. The conference was organised around two panel discussions, one on new business models and another on consumer protection and social rights.
During the first panel discussion Mr. Vanhanen, representing the European Commission, said that they are currently assessing the regulatory framework for the collaborative economy in the EU. The Commission encourages the development of new business models, but these models cannot lead to the weakening of consumer or social protection. He invited everyone to have a look at the results of the flash Eurobarometer on the use of the collaborative economy, published last week.
The panellists of the second panel discussion looked at the status of consumer and social protection in the collaborative economy. Twi issues drew special attention. First, the dire need to update the national taxation systems to the collaborative economy. A lot of creative thinking is going on, but the panellist agreed that no new standard model has emerged yet. Second, the need for social protections for the workers in the collaborative economy. The panellists indicated that they expect the national courts and the European court of justice to play a crucial role in defining the relationship between workers and platforms. Ann Branch, representing the European Commission, stressed the importance of a healthy social model for the European economy and referred to the European pillar of social rights as a policy compass for the coming years.