Support from the Commission to the guidelines on collaborative economy in the Transport Code
The European Commission encourages Member States to take a favourable approach to collaborative economy in their legislation. It presented a communication on the European agenda for collaborative economy on 2 June. The guidance is along the same lines as the transport markets reform under preparation in Finland, the Transport Code.
"Innovative authorities will find the answers and let collaborative economy flourish within the regulatory framework. The development has been lead by Estonia with reforms conducted in the transport sector. There is also an ongoing legislative process in Finland's Ministry of Transport and Communications, the Transport Code, that would allow the provision of small-scale passenger and goods transport services without a licence. These are good examples to learn from in other Member States too," writes Commission Vice-President Jyrki Katainen, responsible for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness, in the daily newspaper Helsingin Sanomat.
According to the guidance, the regulation should give room to innovations and new business operations and the requirements set for small-scale provision of services should not be as heavy as those for professional operations. However, in services generated by the collaborative economy attention should be paid to consumer protection, for example.
"In Finland, the reform of the transport market legislation, the Transport Code, follows the guidelines now presented by the Commission. This would make it possible that students, for example, could provide transport services on a part-time basis," says Ms Anne Berner, Minister of Transport and Communications.
The objective of the Transport Code is to promote new services, ease market entrance, dismantle limitations to competition and reduce the level of public guidance. For example, permit procedures are proposed to be simplified.
The Commission stresses in its guidance that legislation should make a clear difference between service provision on a professional and an occasional basis. One way would be to establish a maximum threshold for the small-scale activity before it is deemed professional.
"This is exactly the idea in the Transport Code. There is a clear limit, in euros, between the small-scale and professional passenger and goods transport services. Naturally, the income fall under earned income taxation," says Minister Berner.
Ms Minna Kivimäki, Director-General, tel. +358 40 754 9871