New forms of employment contracts and relationships– including zero hour contracts, mini-jobs and work via online intermediaries – have proliferated since the financial crisis. While innovation and creativity must be encouraged, new forms of employment relationships have also increased uncertainty for many workers and this has led to an increasingly unequal labour market.
Defining the sharing economy makes it possible to distinguish between genuine practices requiring special arrangements and those that are wrongly classified merely to get around applicable regulations. New business models need to comply with the applicable national and EU legislation, so the Commission must urgently define a clear and transparent legal framework and publish without further delay the long overdue 'European agenda for the collaborative economy'. This agenda should provide a clear definition of the complementary role that self- and co-regulation must play in the sharing economy.
Urgent overhaul is needed to ensure that the EU’s
European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) is once again an effective tool for cross-border cooperation
The ENP – which was launched in 2004 to build on common interests and values with the EU’s southern and eastern neighbours and promote political and economic cooperation – has been overtaken by current events. The policy’s "one-size-fits-all" approach has not been able to account for or deal with ongoing fragmentation in both regions, with Da’esh (ISIS) destabilising the southern neighbourhood through terror, while war and Russian diplomatic and military efforts directly target the eastern partnership.
Globally, the volume of trade in the sharing economy is estimated at around EUR 17.8 billion, with rapid annual growth forecast until 2025. In response to a request from the Dutch presidency, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) has issued an opinion on the sharing economy and self-regulation which calls on the EU to “urgently define a clear and transparent legal framework within which these activities should be developed and implemented in the European area”.
IN THIS ISSUE: Two-way integration policies will benefi t refugees and locals,according to the EESC; Civil society needs to be involved in all aspects of the Energy Union; Digital Day at the EESC; EESC Conference on the Aviation Strategy for Europe.