INESS organized the international conference “Do Regulations Kill Inovation? on June 19, 2018, focusing directly on the sharing economy, its potential for the future, and regulatory environment issues. The conference was attended by over 100 participants.
How can Slovakia match the technologies of the 21st century with regulation, so that the opportunities will be exploited? It’s simple. It is not rocket science or a super-secured secret. Just look at what has been done by more than half of the U.S. states.
Estonia is to pass a legislation that will transform the transport sector and help to improve the environmental dimension of public behavior. Why is it important to foster the development of Taxify, Uber, Wisemile, Starship, and other technological companies that transform public transport and logistics in Europe?
This should be the first commandment of every regulator. Or at the very least, forbidding should not be their first step. All over the world, many governments which have imposed a ban on sharing economy do not respect this rule. They shoot first and ask questions later.
Fortunately, this time, the Slovaks are actually doing something right. Despite all the protracted protests of taxi drivers, liberals from the ranks of the opposition decided to amend the Road Transport Act. The aim of this legislative endeavor is to address precisely the issues that were brought up at the inception of the backlash against Uber.
BlaBlaCar has been operating since 2004. Yet, it penetrated the Slovak market only in 2016. Its purpose is simple: to share car rides. If you are driving long distances or going in the same direction as somebody else who owns a car, you can pick up a passenger or even become one in order to share your travel expenses.
Ridesharing has become particularly attractive for passengers and increasingly more drivers engage in ridesharing as an extra source of income. Despite the rise in popularity, accusations of market anarchy prevail. The important thing to do is not to give in to false information.
Despite Brexit, we are trying to move forward and keep working on other initiatives that would help European companies to expand their businesses. In June, I organised a breakfast debate with the European Internet Forum to discuss taxation in the digital economy.
It is estimated that even though the sharing-economy now contributes only EUR 28 billion to the EU economy per year it can grow to up to EUR 572 billion per year. In order to use as much potential as possible, both the EU and its Member States have to implement a regulatory model that is flexible and applicable to different business models.