The meeting of Chairman of the European Union Affairs Committee of the Riigikogu (Parliament of Estonia) Kalle Palling with Minister of European Affairs of Norway Elisabeth Aspaker focused on Estonia’s experience in sharing economy and its benefits in achieving the goals of climate policy.
“We would like to be the first country in Europe to regulate ridesharing, which also helps achieve the goals of climate policy,” Palling said. He emphasised that traditional sectors of economy should not be discriminated against when sharing economy is regulated with legislation. They also need equal regulation regarding taxation.
Palling told the Norwegian colleagues that it was necessary to create a favourable environment for sharing economy in Europe, so that regulations would not remain obstacles to the development of new economy. He added that next week the Economic Affairs Committee will discuss amendments to the Public Transport Act which regulate the providing of on-demand ridesharing, and hopefully the Riigikogu will pass this bill before summer.
Palling also spoke of the experience of other countries, which has sown that ridesharing does not take away the clients of taxi market, but reduces the use of private cars. “More and more people prefer using the ridesharing service to buying a second car to the family. Ridesharing reduces traffic burden and people’s transport expenses, and helps offer solutions for achieving the goals of climate policy,” Palling said.
Aspaker and Palling noted that Estonia and Norway have relatively similar priorities in Europe. One of the priorities they discussed was energy security. Digital single market, e-solutions and Estonian e-residency were also spoken about.
Palling expressed a hope that, on the basis of Estonia’s e-solutions, it would be possible to create a similar infrastructure across Europe, and the cross-usage of national databases would help manage the migration crisis. “By giving each migrant e-identity, which also includes the fingerprints and iris, it is possible to follow and direct their movement better,” Palling said.
Speaking of the migrant crisis, Palling said that NGOs had good experience in working with the migrants and they have contributes a lot to managing the migration crisis. Palling thanked Norway for supporting Estonian NGOs.
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