EU advisory body calls for more collaborative consumption

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The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), a consultative body of the EU, called for new collaborative opportunities for consumers and businesses within the single market.

Collaborative consumption, such as car-sharing, room rental, and digital communities for learning languages, represents great alternatives in times of crisis, according to the EESC.

Therefore, the EU should identify barriers to these activities, regulate practice within these forms of consumption and also set up a database to pool experience.

Bernardo Hernández Bataller, the EESC member who drafted the report, said that there was a clear need for the EU to raise awareness about collaborative consumption.

"Collaborative consumption can meet social needs in situations where there is no commercial interest and it can help, as a for-profit activity, to create jobs," he said.

The EESC noted that consumers sometimes purchase products they do not use often enough to justify the price they paid, but collaborative consumption is an alternative to last century's over-consumption which has lead to inequality and unnatural extremes such as obesity and hunger, as well as waste and precariousness.

The benefits of collaborative consumption are among other things access to high-quality products for lower-income groups, lower resource consumption and CO2 emissions, eco-design and community development.

"Moving towards more rational consumption also addresses market dysfunctions such as built-in obsolescence, since many designers in the field of collaborative consumption base their work on the development of hard-wearing products that can be used by many people or last individual consumers or users a lifetime, which also makes them powerful allies in the war on waste," the EESC said in a press release.

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Comments

Hoover's picture

" the EU should identify barriers to these activities, regulate practice within these forms of consumption and also set up a database to pool experience."

i.e. the EU should pass some new laws and spend some more taxpayers' money.

Aurélio Barbato's picture

Dear Sr.
Congratulations on your original opinion.
Certainly you can add even more light to the discussion of this important subject, with your vast knowledge and rich experience.
Very commendable share to clarify the various aspects of this discussion.
Regards,
Aurelio Barbato

Kenneth Salomonsen's picture

So far we know very little about the labour market effects of a continuing growth of the these types of companies. Many of the service-oriented P2P solutions cause a rise of precarious work, where workers have no fixed income, no insurances etc.. I will therefore feel worried if the EU will support the growth of the collaborative consumption without further examining the potential side effects of the rise of this new economy.

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