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Local and regional leaders streamline views on the collaborative economy, the EU's competition policy and administrative capacity  
The members of the commission for economic policy (ECON) of the European Committee of the Regions (CoR) discussed and adopted draft opinions on the collaborative economy, the European Commission's annual competition report as well as plans on how to improve the administrative capacity of local and regional authorities to support investment and reforms. The full assembly will vote on the three draft opinions during the plenary session in December.

The European Committee of the Regions is the EU's assembly of regional and local representatives from all 28 Member States. It gives regions and cities a formal say in EU law-making by advising other EU institutions through "opinions" on new legislation that directly impacts regions and cities

A level playing field for consumers, employees and businesses in the collaborative economy

The "collaborative economy" refers to business models where activities are facilitated by collaborative platforms (e.g. Airbnb, Uber) that create an open marketplace for the temporary usage of goods or services, often provided by private individuals. Concrete application of EU law to these new business models is far from comprehensive and has let to multiple problems in the areas of taxation, housing as well as labour and consumer rights. The opinion on " A European framework for regulatory responses to the collaborative economy " aims to push for a common European response and a legal environment where platforms, users and service providers act on a level playing field.

Rapporteur Peter Florianschütz (AT/PES), Member of the Vienna State Parliament and member of the City Council of Vienna, said: " Platforms are transforming our cities, from Airbnb to Uber. We need a European regulatory framework to make sure the sharing economy does not affect negatively our citizens. In particular, affordable housing has become a key concern, as short-term lettings via Airbnb and other platforms are driving up rents in many cities in Europe. The new European framework should strengthen the role of local authorities in regulating the collaborative economy, according to the local situation, and helping them ensure cities remain liveable for all people. "

Improving administrative capacity for the well-being of citizens

Administrative capacity – which means the skills and ability to prepare and implement high quality public services - is a key element to successfully manage investments and reforms that are necessary for achieving long-term EU policy objectives. " Improving administrative capacity of local and regional authorities to strengthen investments and structural reforms in 2021-2027 " is the title and goal of an opinion drafted by Manuela Bora (IT/PES), regional councillor and regional minister of the Marche region.

" Improving the administrative capacity of local and regional authorities means better services to citizens and better access to European Union funds for cities and regions. It is therefore a key element for the successful implementation of investment and sustainable long-term reforms. This is why we call for the next Multiannual Financial Framework to have adequate resources for capacity-building directly accessible by regions and cities ", said rapporteur Bora.

EU competition policy needs address current challenges

An undistorted and effective competition policy is an essential foundation for the internal market and is therefore an essential foundation for the European project. The impact of the EU's competition policy on local and regional authorities is the concern of the CoR's opinion on the " Annual competition policy report 2018 " with special emphasis on the connections to state aid, digitalisation and Brexit as well as economic, social and territorial cohesion.

Rapporteur Dominique Leveque (FR/PES), Mayor of Aÿ-en-Champagne, said: " An effective competition policy cannot be an end in itself, but it needs to be adapted to the challenges the European Union and its cities and regions are facing today, namely the climate and energy transition, the digitalisation of our economy, and Brexit. To do this, we need to go beyond the silos mentality when speaking about competition policy, making it a key tool for building a fair and sustainable Europe that leaves no people and no place behind. "

The final adoption of all three opinions is scheduled for the CoR plenary session on 4/5 December 2019.

Contact:

Carmen Schmidle
Tel. +32 (0)2 282 2366
carmen.schmidle@cor.europa.eu