EHHA - PRESS RELEASE
Brussels, 2 June 2016
EHHA welcomes the Commission’s Communication on Collaborative Economy
The European Holiday Home Association (EHHA) welcomes the Guidelines on Collaborative Economy as launched today by the European Commission. The EHHA sees the guidelines on the collaborative economy as a major step into the right direction.
“The short term rental sector has become part of a fast-growing ecosystem of innovative platforms and services that is driving greater choice and lower prices for consumers. It is essential for regulators in Member States to understand the diversity of the business models and create simple, clear, proportionate and appropriate rules that deliver a supportive business context for short-term rental providers to grow – big and small, professional and non-professional.” – says EHHA Secretary General Carlos Villaro Lassen.
The existing EU law and in particular the Services Directive foresees that services providers should not be subject to authorisation schemes and licensing requirements or other market access requirements, unless they are not discriminatory, necessary to attain a clearly identified overriding reason of public interest and proportionate to achieving this interest. The EHHA agrees with the European Commission that it is important to consider whether the objective pursued in existing accommodation legislation remains valid in the case of the short term rental when applying market access requirements to the collaborative economy.
While the EHHA agrees with the European Commission that total bans of activity should constitute a measure of last resort, the association would have liked explicit recognition from the Commission that restrictive regulations such as day limits actively deter investment and reduce consumer choice. The EHHA finds it very important to protect the existence of a broad offering for consumers: serviced apartments, rooms at hosts, first homes and second homes.
In addition, the EHHA is convinced that new taxes should not be considered by governments and for the existing ones governments should design taxation systems that are easy to understand and to comply with by those engaged.
“Companies that distribute and market short-term rentals are open to solutions which would allow for easier collection and remittance of relevant tourist or accommodation taxes for the transactions occurring actually via their intermediary, provided that simple, straightforward and fair systems are put in place. The protection of individual data is also a must.” – ads Mr. Carlos Villaro Lassen.
The EHHA supports the European Commission in monitoring developments and identifying problems of overregulation in Member States and fragmentation of the Single Market. The association raised its concern to the European Commission that several Member States have already imposed the regulatory treatment hampering development of short term rentals.
“Some cities like Berlin, Barcelona and Brussels have implemented restrictions that we consider violating the existing EU law.”- says Mr. Carlos Villaro Lassen.
The EHHA now looks forward to seeing Member States/local authorities examining whether their respective rules are supportive of the collaborative economy and taking action to remove barriers for the short term rental industry. The association looks forward to working with all stakeholders to progress this agenda which is vital to future European competitiveness and growth.
EHHA is a membership association which encourages, promotes, represents and protects the interests of the short term rental sector at both EU and member state level. Its members are companies engaged in the marketing and distribution of short term rental, and national trade associations in EU Member States.
For more information: www.ehha.eu
Press contacts: Carlos Villaro Lassen, Secretary General, firstname.lastname@example.org, mob. +45 31101090, Viktorija Ramasauskaite, Policy Affairs Advisor, Mob. +32 470 80 59 82