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LLX Roundtable on the Uber judgment and the Sharing Economy

In a week in which the threat of violent protest against taxi platform Uber made headlines from Athens to Amsterdam, Jorrit Rijpma (Europa Insitute) and Sophia Ranchordás (Groningen University) organised an Leiden Law Exchange (LLX) Roundtable on the recent judgment of the European Court of Justice on UberPop Services in Spain and the consequences of this judgment for the broader sharing economy.

Following the by now well-established format of the LLX, this Roundtable brought together academics and practitioners, including representatives of Uber and the Unions to engage in an open discussion under Chatham House Rules.

The sharing economy and its disruptive nature poses significant challenges for lawyers and regulators. The old moulds of the law no longer seem to fit economic and societal reality. The collaborative economy touches upon an increasing number of sectors of the economy, having a significant impact on the lives of many, consumers and workers included.

Four distinguished speakers introduced their view on the judgment and the wider question raised by the collaborative economy from their particular field of expertise:

Both the introductions, as well as the ensuing discussion showed the strong interaction between legal regimes, both vertically (international, European, national and local), as well as horizontally (labour law, competition law, data protection, etc). There is a clear need to approach the collaborative economy in novel ways, looking behind current classifications and definitions, rethinking concepts and regulatory frameworks. This requires important choices to be made in relation that who regulates whom at which level of government. Legal certainty, technological innovation and the protection of broader public interests all call for such choices to be made.

The Europa Institute wants to thank all participants for their valuable insights and contributions.

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