The report “The Cost of Non-Europe in the Sharing Economy: Economic, Social and Legal Challenges and Opportunities“ – drawn up by the European Parliament’s Directorate-General for Parliamentary Research Services – analyzes the economic, social and legal challenges of the European sharing economy, providing evidence of the benefits that could be achieved through European action.
The sharing economy emerges as a dazzling issue and raises controversial questions. New economic opportunities are likely to benefit consumers, providers and manufacturers. However the sharing economy development could trigger the creation of new forms of “social exclusion”, like the exclusion of an individual from the sharing economy business due to e.g. poor ratings.
The sharing economy development could produce a potential economic gain – linked with a better use of capacities – amounting to €572 billion.
Furthermore this report seeks to identify barriers for the sharing economy implementation and analyzes the effectiveness of the existing EU regulatory framework in promoting and overseeing such emerging business models. As highlighted, regulation could hamper sharing economy growth through regulatory costs which deter self-employment and marginal transactions or through inconsistencies and idiosyncrasies in intellectual property rules.
Finally, some recommendations are proposed in order to ensure an adequate balance between creative freedom for business and the necessary regulatory protections.