Wednesday 26 July 2017
Half-Day Working Session with Lunch
Radisson Blu Hotel, Karl-Liebknecht-Strasse 3, 10178 Berlin
LEGAL ISSUES IN THE SHARING ECONOMY
Chair: Marjolein De Backer, Senior Associate, Dechert LLP, Brussels
8:45 am THE EU's AGENDA FOR THE COLLABORATIVE ECONOMY
Rosa Guirado, Legal Expert on the Sharing Economy and Founder of Legal Sharing, Madrid
In June 2016, the European Commission released a Communication setting out a "European agenda for the collaborative economy" in which the EU provides clarity on applicable EU rules and policy recommendations to help citizens, businesses and EU countries fully benefit from the new business models and promote the balanced development of the collaborative economy. Rosa Guirado will share her thoughts on this policy document and will emphasize the different roles that the platforms may play according to the European Commission, with reference to concrete examples, drawing from her broad experience advising sharing economy companies at the national and local level in Spain.
9:35 am THE REGULATION OF SHARING ECONOMY COMPANIES IN THE UK
Roddy Campbell, Founder of Vrumi and Board Member, Sharing Economy UK
The explosion of the sharing economy has presented regulatory challenges on various fronts, in the areas of employment law, consumer protection, housing policy, tax and more. Roddy Campbell, the Founder of Vrumi, will talk about the development of the sharing economy in the UK, and his work on the Board of Sharing Economy UK, the UK’s trade association for sharing economy companies, which interacts with government and sets standards for sharing economy businesses. He will also share his thoughts as to how different the sharing economy really is from the rest of the economy, and how different countries and cities legitimately take different approaches to its regulation.
10:25 am Questions and Discussion
10:40 am Coffee Break
11:00 am TRANSPORTATION v. DIGITAL ECONOMY: COULD UBER BE A BRIDGE BETWEEN THE TWO?
Riccardo Falconi, Director, Legal Strategy & Planning (EMEA), Uber, Amsterdam
In cases currently before the Court of Justice of the European Union, and in related debate on the services provided by Uber, transportation and the digital economy are often being characterised as stark alternatives, when in fact they are really both part of a single challenge: how best to protect users in a tech-savvy and quickly-evolving world. Riccardo Falconi will discuss the pending court cases in Luxembourg and consider whether the “transportation v. digital economy” choice is the only way of looking at the issue, or whether Uber, leveraging its experience and extensive geographic footprint, can actually bridge the gap between both components without altering either and ensure that users are thereby fully protected.
11:50 am BUSES v. CARPOOLING AND USING EU LAW TO TACKLE RESTRICTIVE MEMBER STATE LEGISLATION
Frédéric Altenbourger, General Counsel, BlaBlaCar, Paris
Frédéric Altenbourger will talk about the recent unfair competition case in Madrid brought (unsuccessfully) by the Spanish Confederation for Bus Transport against the ride-sharing platform BlaBlaCar, one of the many legal tussles we read about concerning sharing economy companies that are initiated by traditional businesses who suddenly find themselves facing new competition, or by local, regional or national governments putting in place new regulation, with sharing platforms having to react defensively. Frédéric will also explain how BlaBlaCar and others have begun to use EU law offensively, by alerting the European Commission in Brussels to infringements of European law by Member States.
12:40 am Questions and Discussion
1:00 pm Lunch & Close
NB: Uber will be holding a press briefing on its pending cases before the Court of Justice of the European Union for participants from the media over lunch. Members of the press interested in attending should register by emailing Knowledge Nomads.