New economy, sharing economy or access economy… It’s clear the digital age has provided a plethora of definitions to define the unspeakable: the virtualization of economic practices and processes in which businesses no longer need brick and mortar headquarters to do just about anything.
Clearly, traditional businesses unwilling to adopt a digital approach have been left behind, and we all know keeping up the pace is essential in any type of economy. So, it did not come as a shock to see the hordes of protesters asking the Romanian government to outlaw Uber because it steals customers and provides an unfair competition to all those licensed taxi drivers who provide a less than average service. Not one word about illegal practices, overpriced rides and refusal to drive customers on short distances.
Brussels has urged EU members to refrain from outlawing e-businesses such as Uber, Airbnb and the like (most of them US-based). While a set of EU guidelines for regulating the sharing economy has been drafted, it seems that each country deals differently with this issue. Some have banned such services while others are just about to do the same.
Romania is in the process of passing a law which forces any web platform acting as a middleman for services like car/home sharing or freelancing to open local offices otherwise it faces a permanent ban.
Lo and behold! It’s amusing to read the draft project and realize Romania is far from understanding what’s been happening for a decade or so in the digital landscape. Why not clean our own house first and then think of banning others from entering it?