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[EN] SAVE THE DATE | Can Europe combine flexibility, sustainability and innovation when regulating the platform economy? (December 6)

We are delighted to invite you to an event which will be held on Monday, 6th of December 2021 at 17.00.

The event will consist of an afternoon session on the question of whether Europe can combine flexibility, sustainability and innovation when regulating the platform economy.

Although speakers and event details will be announced in the coming days, we are publishing this event now to make sure you save the date.

Given the current developments regarding the Covid-19 outbreak, this event will be held in streaming.

This is a public event, hence the Chatham House Rule will not apply

This event is organised in partnership with

About the debate

The world of work was already in the process of changing before the Corona crisis erupted. It is not by chance that there is a consensus on the fact that technological advancement has driven important transformations and generated several economic and societal changes, along with demographic evolution occurring in Europe. As a result of these processes, the platform economy has been often at the centre of the public debate on the digital transformation of the economy and society in the old continent, as the EU social market economy aims to combine sustainability and economic growth. In more general terms, the European economic and social system aims at fostering a unique idea of development which, in the words of the European Commission, has been defined as « sustainable competitiveness ».

Meanwhile, the platform economy had a significant impact in creating new opportunities for workers, self-employed, customers and businesses alike, while citizens are increasingly engaging in independent forms of work that can combine time flexibility, earning opportunities and the possibility of self-organising their personal life. As a result, several European policymakers and unions have challenged the so-called « gig economy » and have asked for a reclassification of independent platform workers. Indeed, as highlighted by the OECD, « one issue which has received public policy and legal attention in recent years is the correct classification of platform workers » as « platform work is one type of work that blurs the line between dependent and self-employment ».

Following social partners and stakeholder consultations, as well as a non-legislative own-initiative report from the European Parliament, the European Commission has nearly completed the process of finalising a legislative proposal which will be released on December 8 with the objective of improving the working conditions of platform workers, with special regard to the question of access to social protection. In fact, the Corona crisis has exacerbated the gaps in social protection systems, making platform work fit for the 21st century’s social standards became a priority for the EU and highlighting that it is of paramount importance that platform workers are protected, supported and able to exercise their rights without risking their independence or an adequate social safety net.

Within this context, a recent study by Copenhagen Economics revealed that there is however a risk that the policy shifts would imply a move from a flexible work model towards an inflexible work model. In addition, the study finds that the majority of platform workers actively seek flexible work as « flexibility is the main reason for working ». This result is also due to the fact that platform workers still represent a minority of the overall European workforce, although one that throws an important spotlight on the impact of technological progress.

For these reasons the discussion around the upcoming legislative proposal on platform workers plays an important role in clarifying the set-up of a legal framework that balances flexibility and additional protections for platform workers, while sending the signal that the European social model is compatible with innovation, sustainable growth, as well as with current and future trends of EU economy and society.

The event will commence at 17.00 and it will last until about 18.30.

The discussion will be held in streaming.

The audience will be able to ask questions during both the discussion and the Q&A session through sli.do #GigEconomy

#FutureOfWork

#PlatformEconomy

#SocialEurope

We look forward to hosting you at 17.00 on the 6th of December

 

[EN] SAVE THE DATE | Digital Markets Act Trilogue Negotiations: Protecting the consumer interest (December 15)

We are delighted to invite you to an event which will be held Wednesday, 15th of December 2021 at 17.00.

The event will consist of an afternoon session ahead of the trilogue negotiations of the Digital Markets Act (DMA) on the question of protecting the interest of European consumers.

Although speakers and event details will be announced in the coming days, we are publishing this event now to make sure you save the date.

This event will be held online.

This is a public event, hence the Chatham House Rule will not apply

This event is organised in collaboration with

CCIA Europe.

 

About the debate

There is widespread agreement on the fact that online platforms play a prominent role in creating economic value for consumers and businesses. Increasingly, their economic and social influence, and the appropriate scope of Government intervention, has been at the centre of the European public debate.

Within this context, the Digital Market Act (DMA) proposal was put forward, against which the positions of the European Parliament’s competent Committee and the « general approach » of the Council were recently adopted. The specific aim of teh DMA is to regulate the activities of large online platforms – such as operating systems, cloud services, search engines, social networking services and marketplaces. These new EU-wide rules will constrain the market power of the largest platforms, rebalance the relationship between these platforms and their business users, and promote contestability and fairness.

To achieve its objectives, the Digital Markets Act will impose a series of ex-ante obligations and prohibitions on any firm designated as a ‘gatekeeper’. These obligations will regulate platform services with the overarching concept that increasing fairness and contestability for business users will have positive effects for consumers through increased competition, innovation and, ultimately, the degree of choice and quality present in the EU digital sector.

Against this background, a recent study published by Oxera identified concerns over the form-based approach to ex-ante regulation that the DMA adopted. The study highlights that « the DMA creates a risk of over-enforcement by restricting a series of common business practices, found offline as well as online, that can have net positive effects for society. In particular, the DMA’s ‘catch-all’ and ‘per se’ approach to prohibiting a range of value creating behaviours risks stifling the growth of Europe’s digital economy. »

As part of this discussion, Oxera Principal, Gareth Shier will present additional analysis focusing on particular DMA amendments proposed by the European Parliament and the European Council, and the impact these could have on European consumers of digital services in the future.

A discussion on how the DMA can best protect the consumer interest will follow, including as discussant Professor Annabelle Gawer, leading expert on the business of digital platforms and author of « Online platforms: Economic and societal effects« , prepared for the European Parliament Panel for the Future of Science and Technology.

As the EU institutions enter trilogue negotiations with the European Commission, they will have the opportunity to fine tune the DMA and better balance the interests of business users with the impact that the regulation will have on consumers. What should negotiators be mindful of, and what issues should still be addressed? How can the DMA better preserve value creation and put European consumers’ interests first?

 

The event will commence at 17.00 and it will last around one hour and a half.

The discussion will be held online.

#DMA

#DigitalEU

#GAFAM

The audience will be able to ask questions during both the discussion and the Q&A session through sli.do #DMATrilogue

 

We look forward to hosting you at 17.00 on the 15th of December.