The platform economy concerns more and more Europeans – as
entrepreneurs, workers or consumers. Whilst digital platforms enable
a more open marketplace for exchanging goods, services and information,
they have grown mostly on the margins of regulations applicable
to the mainstream economy, notably as regards consumer protection,
social rights of workers and taxation. This phenomenon is set to
expand exponentially, with a significant impact on society at large.
Europe’s law-makers should seek a balanced approach in this
context so that public interests prevail over more narrow commercial
considerations, without choking off innovation, entrepreneurship,
new work and consumption patterns, and the related development opportunities.
If platforms’ activities are not properly regulated, there may be
a risk of expansion of the informal economy. Moreover, the “platformisation”
of work may contribute to the spread of increasingly precarious
forms of non-standard work.
Member States should clarify the employment status of platform
workers and national legislation applicable to digital platforms
and their workers. Legal safeguards should be put in place to protect
platform workers in cross-border and international settings, to
tackle new psychosocial risks and to ensure adequate controls.