Uber and Airbnb signed an open letter on Thursday that calls on EU member states to unite behind a plan for the so-called sharing economy, which is made up of companies that allow people to let out their properties, possessions or services, in exchange for a fee.
European politicians will meet later this month to discuss the sharing economy and draw up conclusions that reflect the views of European member states.
The open letter to Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, the Presidency of Europe’s Competitiveness Council, which aims to enhance competitiveness and increase growth in the EU, received 47 signatures in total, with London startups like Onfido, Love Home Swap, and JustPark also getting behind it.
It reads: “We urge Member States to continue to seek to ensure that local and national laws do not unnecessarily limit the development of the collaborative economy to the detriment of Europeans.
“Support for our sector is also crucial in facilitating investment and widespread adoption. We therefore call on the Council to acknowledge in its conclusions, the positive contribution of the collaborative economy in terms of sustainable economic growth for Europe.”
Sharing economy companies have faced multiple court battles across Europe over the last two years. Uber, for example, has been in court in London and Berlin for its disruptive taxi-app, while Airbnb has had to navigate decades-old subletting laws that in some cases that stop people from renting out their rooms.
Each of Europe’s 28 member states have their own set of laws that US technology giants and others must try to navigate when they expand to the continent.
Last month, the European Commission, the executive arm of the European Union, said it was planning to hold talks with policymakers across its member states to see how they are blocking the expansion efforts of companies like Uber and Airbnb.
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