Collaborative economy and new business models’ challenges debated at multistakeholder conference

Date

17 Oct 2018

Sections

Euro & Finance

Collaborative economy and new business models’ challenges debated at multistakeholder conference

EU and international policy makers, entrepreneurs, academics, finance professionals and civil society discussed opportunities and limits of new business models at joint ACCA, UEAPME and European Movement International conference in Brussels

The EU is looking at how we can encourage the development of new and innovative services, while ensuring adequate consumer and social protection. The challenge is not thin, given the very nature of these new business models and the sharing/collaborative economies. It is fast-moving, and it also touches upon a number of areas, such as taxation, labour market laws and regulations, that are national competencies. The key is thus to strike the difficult balance between much-needed clarity and ensuring a level-playing field on the one hand, without thwarting the development of the European sharing economy on the other.

This is precisely the reason why ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants), UEAPME (the European SME employers’ organisation) and European Movement International brought together a wide range of experts to discuss the main features of these new business models, the opportunities but also their limits, and how policymakers can support innovation while also protecting consumers, workers and communities.

Alan Hatfield, Executive Director, Strategy and Development at ACCA opened the debate: Today, for building business models that will thrive in the future and  truly deliver a value proposition that is able to flourish, an understanding of how complex adaptive systems come together to create both outputs and outcomes is required. 

Professional accountants are among the most trusted business advisers, including in start-ups and larger organisations seeking to learn from new business models. Of course, for them to be ready to fully to embrace new opportunities will demand new skills, such as financial acumen, technical knowledge and ethical judgment. At ACCA we are ready to take the challenge on board”.

Luc Hendrickx, Director of Enterprise Policy and External Relations at  UEAPME said: “a new “collaborative economy regulation” is not necessary. The legal framework is already there, what we need to do is to apply it and enforce it. This is important to ensure a level playing field.

UEAPME believes that all working people, whether employee or self-employed, should be able to operate with confidence in the modern economy. Many self-employed in Europe face an unequal playing field for instance when doing business on and/or with platforms. UEAPME supports in particular that Member States explore and implement effective ways to make the labour market function more smoothly. This should be done by facilitating transitions between different statuses, be it from employee/unemployed to self-employed or vice-versa; by tackling the existing rigidity of the labour markets and  lowering labour costs; by improving clarity on statuses at national level, and increase transparency on entitlements, rights, and obligations in work and B2B contracts and by promoting entrepreneurship in particular through education. Therefore the proposal for a P2Bregulation has our full support.”

David Bradbury, Head of the Tax Policy and Statistics Division at the OECD said that the collaborative economy, and in particular the business models that are prevalent within it, raise a whole range of tax issues. He stressed that “through the OECD inclusive framework, we have been trying to tackle the most complex of the cross-border tax issues, which includes the international rules in the area of the corporate income tax. However, as the business models of the collaborative economy show, there are a range of other tax issues that need to be addressed in areas such as VAT, personal income tax and social contributions.  In all these areas, the challenge is to ensure that our tax rules are ‘fit for purpose’ for the 21st century and beyond”.

Brando Benifei, MEP and Vice-President of European Movement international concluded: “There is no doubt that collaborative economy is one of the hot topics on today’s political agenda, not just in Europe, but worldwide. It has a great impact on the future of labour market policy, labour relations, education and training, digitalisationBut alongside its policy implications in various fields such as taxation, consumer protection, sustainability of business models, it constitutes a truly transversal and cross-sectorial issue, which, I believe, should be dealt with at the European level, and requires European solutions in its regulatory developments.

The European Parliament’s Employment Committee will vote this Thursday its position on an important piece of legislation: the directive on Transparent and Predictable Working Conditions. This proposed directive offers in my view the testing ground to evaluate the level of maturity of the political discourse concerning new and sensitive topics such as the regulation of the collaborative economy”.

    Ends

Notes to editor

About ACCA

For media enquiries, contact ACCA Brussels office

Cécile Bonino,  Head of EU Affairs, cecile.bonino@accaglobal.com or +32 (0) 2 286 11 37

ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) is the global body for professional accountants, offering business-relevant, first-choice qualifications to people of application, ability and ambition around the world who seek a rewarding career in accountancy, finance and management.

ACCA supports its 208,000 members and 503,000 students in 179 countries, helping them to develop successful careers in accounting and business, with the skills required by employers. ACCA works through a network of 104 offices and centres and more than 7,300 Approved Employers worldwide, who provide high standards of employee learning and development. Through its public interest remit, ACCA promotes appropriate regulation of accounting and conducts relevant research to ensure accountancy continues to grow in reputation and influence.

ACCA is currently introducing major innovations to its flagship qualification to ensure its members and future members continue to be the most valued, up to date and sought-after accountancy professionals globally.

Founded in 1904, ACCA has consistently held unique core values: opportunity, diversity, innovation, integrity and accountability. More information is here: www.accaglobal.com

About the European Movement International   

The European Movement International is the largest pan-European network of pro-European organisations. It is present in over 30 countries and encompasses 36 International Associations, bringing together European business, trade unions, NGOs, political parties, local authorities and academia. Founded nearly 70 years ago, the European Movement has continuously advocated in favour of European co-operation and integration, based on the principles of peace, democracy, liberty, solidarity, equality, justice, the respect for human rights and the rule of law.

Today the European Movement seeks to provide a platform to encourage and facilitate the active participation of citizens and stakeholders from a cross-section of sectors in the development of European solutions to our common challenges. We offer thought leadership on the issues that confront Europe; we seek to inform the debates on our Union’s future, involve citizens and stakeholders in the decisions that affect them and influence policy-makers in favour of an open, inclusive, transparent, sustainable and united Europe.

About UEAPME

UEAPME is the employers’ organisation representing Crafts and SMEs from the EU and accession countries at European level. UEAPME has 64 member organisations covering about 12 million enterprises with 55 million employees. UEAPME is a European Social Partner. For further information please visit http://www.ueapme.com/ or follow @UEAPME on Twitter.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT:

Jenny Manin, Press and Communications Officer, Tel. +32 496 52 03 29, Email: pressoffice@ueapme.com