The platform economy is already an integral part of the European economy, and its economic and social importance will continue to increase significantly in the future. Estimates by the European Commissions’ Joint Research Centre indicate that on average 10% of the adult population in Europe already used online platforms for the provision of labour services.
Nevertheless, the Commission’s Digital Single Market Strategy largely disregards the social dimension of the digital economy and its impact on the life and work of millions of Europeans. This is fatal, not only from an employment policy perspective; it also promotes unfair competition between the platform economy on the one hand and the offline economy on the other, at the expense of “traditional” companies, workers and social security systems.
For the S&D Group this approach is unacceptable. The European Digital Agenda must become a Social Digital Agenda, which goes beyond technical aspects and takes full advantage of the related employment and growth potentials. New types of employment and platform work can offer a better work-life balance, additional income and new chances for people distant from the labour market.