(25 September 2013)
The European Sharing Economy Coalition was launched at a public hearing [*] in the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) on 25 September 2013.
The launch of the Coalition followed an invitation from the European Commission to discuss the importance of tackling the Sharing Economy model for the European Union.
Brussels, 25 September 2013 – The Sharing Economy and the EU have common goals: increase resource efficiency, create jobs and prosperity, build community participation and advance social innovation. The European Sharing Economy Coalition sees this as a great opportunity to combine efforts around joint priorities and mainstream a stronger, more resilient Europe in view of meeting the EU2020 objectives.
The Coalition is the first pan-European network to forge a unified voice, advocate and monitor progress towards EU and national policy that:
- Mainstream the Sharing Economy
By campaigning to raise awareness and improve visibility.
- Sustain the Sharing Economy
By advocating for fair and sensible regulations, ensuring the Sharing Economy becomes a political priority at European level.
- Scale Up the Sharing Economy
By promoting leadership and best practice exchange, aiming towards scalability and transferability in the EU Member States.
- Finance the Sharing Economy
By raising EU funding to kick start relevant pilot projects and platforms all over Europe, above all in cities.
The Coalition’s purpose is to bring together into a critical mass the most active organisations at European level and make the case for European policies that place a much greater emphasis on sharing and collaboration, as the driving force behind a more prosperous, sustainable and competitive European economy. The Coalition will explore synergies with EU policies and programmes and how EU decision makers and other stakeholders can work together to lay the necessary framework conditions and make the Sharing Economy a success for the benefit of Member States, businesses, consumers and local communities in the EU.
“The narrative of the Sharing Economy is typically framed as a bottom-up, grassroots action. All of the proliferating Sharing Economy organisations in Europe are focused on a small piece of a much larger puzzle and considerable change will never come from a disconnected group and a fragmented start-up scene along the value chain. However, if these organisations join forces to share a compelling agenda, an inspiring long-term vision and coordinate their EU policy approach, they could pave the way for top-down framework conditions needed to scale-up the Sharing Economy in Europe as well as the Member States.”, explained Marco Torregrossa, Euro Freelancers Managing Director at the public hearing event.
The absence of regulatory measures creates uncertainty that may inhibit investments and development of the sector. Sharing Economy organisations need to engage early with European regulators, especially the European Commission, to design appropriate rules and policies, as the market is now rapidly taking shape. This is particularly the case considering the EU2020 strategy which proposes that: “the consumption of goods and services should take place in accordance with smart, sustainable and inclusive growth and should also have an impact on job creation, productivity and economic, social and territorial cohesion“. The main goal should be for the EU to recognise the Sharing Economy as an overarching strategy guiding its whole policy thinking in the various sectors.
Drawing inspiration from the Shareable Cities Resolution 87, adopted by the US Conference of Mayors, the Coalition advocates for European policy makers to support the Sharing Economy in the following ways:
- Encourage the EU to become an early adopter of shared services by supporting users and providers with the tools that can facilitate growth for the Sharing Economy.
- Commission impact assessment studies and life cycle analysis on sharing assets in the EU to identify opportunities and help to create more standardised methods for measuring the benefits of the Sharing Economy to the public and private sector, above all in cities.
- Set up networks with leaders from cities (e.g. via the EU Covenant of Mayors or the European Innovation Partnership on Smart Cities) to build capacity, spread information and ideas about successful models for the Sharing Economy.
- Create local working groups to review and address regulations that could hamper involvement in the Sharing Economy, bringing together residents and neighbourhoods, redefining public services, innovation and civic engagement.
- Regulate on the Sharing Economy on a sector-by-sector basis, incorporating feedback from sharing companies and end-users, involving a broad set of stakeholders in consultations.
- Facilitate the transferability of best practice solutions across Member States and incentivise public investments (grants, subsidies) for pilot projects and initiatives on the Sharing Economy.
- Enact a European public procurement system favouring Sharing Economy enterprises.
- Introduce mandatory requirements in existing legal framework instruments for shareable products (e.g. minimum, recyclability, reusability, upgradeability and durability).
- Promote the creation of one award scheme for the best Sharing Economy concepts to facilitate market penetration.
- Support the development of one regional Sharing Economy cluster in the EU (e.g. with cooperation among research institutes, start-ups, financiers, end-users) to accelerate the innovation process.
— ENDS —
NOTES TO THE EDITOR
The Sharing Economy (otherwise known as collaborative economy or collaborative consumption) refers to economic and social systems that enable shared access to goods, services, data and talent as opposed to ownership. These systems take a variety of forms but all leverage information technology and peer-to-peer communities to empower individuals with the distribution, sharing and reuse of excess capacity and underutilised assets (i.e. low frequency of use) in goods and services. In 2010, the Sharing Economy was named one of TIME Magazine‘s 10 ideas that will change the world as the consumer peer-to-peer rental market is now reaching $26 billion.
The European Sharing Economy Coalition is an initiative of Euro Freelancers, a collaborative network of independent EU affairs consultants and investors.
Learn more about the European Sharing Economy Coalition:
For more information and media inquiries, please contact:
+32 (0)486 71 30 26
[*] The event was hosted by Mr Bernardo Hernández Bataller, the Rapporteur of the Collaborative Consumption Opinion of the EESC. More info on the event: http://www.eesc.europa.eu/?i=portal.en.events-and-activities-participative-consumption-21st