At the meeting of Chairman of the European Union Affairs Committee of the Riigikogu (Parliament of Estonia) Kalle Palling and Chairman of the Economic Affairs Committee of the Riigikogu Toomas Kivimägi with European Commissioner for Internal Market Elżbieta Bieńkowska, European digital single market, the Posting of Workers Directive and the regulation of sharing economy were spoken about.
Chairman of the European Union Affairs Committee Kalle Palling said that sharing economy was a new economy that needed new regulations. In his opinion, it is the task of parliaments to create rules that work in today’s world, and to ensure with legislative acts that the using of digital platforms has clear boundaries.
Palling added that when the Riigikogu made amendments to the Public Transport Act in the nearest future, Estonia would become the first country in the European Union to regulate ridesharing.
Palling emphasised the advantages of ridesharing service. He said that, among other things, it would help reduce the need for a personal car, organise traffic in cities more reasonably and create new business opportunities for thousands of people. “It is good for the environment because it may reduce traffic jams, and it is good for the people because it may reduce the cost of living,” he stated.
Chairman of the Economic Affairs Committee Toomas Kivimägi said that in the legalisation of sharing economy, over-regulating should be avoided because it would restrain the initiatives of new economy. Kivimägi remarked that in regulating of sharing economy, first of all, and maybe even only, three issues should be focused on: the safety of riders, insurance, and ensuring of equal treatment with the existing business models, like classical taxis.
Commissioner Elżbieta Bieńkowska expressed her support to Estonia’s initiative to regulate sharing economy, and called it the best practice in Europe that should be shared with other Member States. She added that although only ridesharing and accommodation services were spoken about in the beginning, hopefully sharing economy would expand also to other sectors soon.
After the meeting, Commissioner Bieńkowska opened the seminar “Innovation in Transport Solutions: from Sharing Economy to Self-driving Cars”, organised by the European Union Affairs Committee. The seminar dealt with the existing practice of sharing economy and innovative ideas, and tried to find answer to the questions what the role of transport sector in the EU climate policy was, and how to reduce the energy dependence and environmental impact of this sector.
Video recording of the seminar can be viewed at: https://www.youtube.com/riigikogu
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