By Chief Sharer, Benita Matofska
On October 19th, I had the honour of speaking at the European Parliament as part of a session called ‘Unleashing the Sharing Economy: Growth and Opportunities’, organised by ALDE . The event was attended by MEPs Dita Charanzova, Frederick Federley, Dominique Riquet, Kaja Kallas and Jyrki Katainen, VP, European Commission. You can watch the full session here. My presentation begins at 24 minutes in. There’s also a film of the event produced by online newspaper the EU Observer.
I took the opportunity to give an overview of the market and the growth of activity in Europe. According to PwC’s latest figures, the Sharing Economy generated €28 billion transactions in 2015, with transaction value increasing by 77% between 2014-2015. PwC also expect that the market will grow 20 times faster than they first predicted in their 2014 report.
Typical of Sharing Economy growth globally, it is driven by people who are choosing to access Sharing Economy products and services. 52% of people in Europe know about the Sharing Economy1 and Over 150 million expected to engage in next 12 months2. 17% of adults across Europe are already participating3 and this is expected to rise by 30% across Europe in next 12 months4. Interestingly, participation is the highest in Spain and the UK5, with 65% engagement in the UK.
The key challenges across Europe have been: outdated laws and an understanding that’s what’s needed are proportionate, consistent and relevant regulation; differentiation between occasional & professional providers in the Sharing Economy and relevant insurance products.
My recommendations to the European Parliament and to policy makers are to challenge disproportionate and anti-competitive laws; to ensure that legislation is justified, necessary & proportionate. I believe that no additional regulation is needed. Rather, we need targeted fiscal support for small platforms; tax incentives for people participating & working in the Sharing Economy; rewards for businesses sharing responsibly and active support and promotion by governments for the Sharing Economy.
Most importantly, we need to allow Europeans full access to the Sharing Economy services they are demanding.
Benita Matofska is a global expert, speaker and consultant on the Sharing Economy and is the Founder and Chief Sharer of The People Who Share.
1 Eurobarometer Poll, TNS Political & Social 2016
2 ING / IPSOS 2015
3 ING / IPSOS 2015
4 ING / IPSOS 2015
5 ING / IPSOS 2015