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The Challenges of the Sharing Economy: Vassilis Hatzopoulos presents his latest monograph on the Collaborative Economy and EU law

Last Thursday, the March edition of the ILS Lunch Seminars took place. This well attended seminar took on a slightly different format, as we had the honour of receiving Prof. Vassilis Hatzopoulos from the Panteion University in Athens who presented his latest monograph on the collaborative economy.

Companies such as Uber, Booking and Airbnb pose challenges to existing business practices and the regulatory norms that govern them. An increasing number of ‘workers’ is associated with the collaborative economy, not only in the USA but also within the EU. The platform industry already has a huge – according to many disruptive - impact on society. This requires lawyers to come up with innovative solutions.

In his presentation, Hatzopoulos showed that the current law appears no longer fit for its purpose. There seems to be not only a need for new regulation, but also re-regulation of the existing sectors within the industry. Fitting with the theme of Interaction between Legal Systems, Hatzopoulos discussed how different fields of (EU) law interact when applied to the platform economy, such as labour law, free movement of services, competition law and data protection. This involves new actors and activities that escape definition by classic concepts of law.

Hatzopoulos raised many questions that will eventually need to be addressed by the legislator. An important one is whether regulation can and should be adopted at EU level. In a recent judgment, the European Court of Justice considered UberPop to be a taxi service and therefore to fall within the regulatory competence of the Member States. But the case raises questions as regards other services provided in the collaborative economy. Hatzopolous stressed the urgency of addressing these, so as not to stifle innovation and at the same time protect the public interests at stake.

The next ILS Lunch Seminar will take place on Thursday 19 April from 12:00 - 13:00 in KOG B0.25. This seminar will feature presentations from Adriano Martufi on "The cross-border dimension of social rehabilitation: interest of the State or right of the individual” and Marco Stam on “The effects of welfare receipt on crime: A regression discontinuity and instrumental variable approach”. There is no need to register and lunch is provided.

Would you like to present yourself in one of our Lunch Seminars? Do not hesitate to contact our student assistant Daila Gigengack! More information on ILS 2.0 can be found on our website.

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