Politico: MEPs are pushing the European Commission to introduce new rules for Airbnb


The issue is about short term rental. Airbnb and EU leaders should work together to create sustainable tourism models that benefit local people economically

In a letter dated July 14, signed by dozens of MEPs and more than 10 European cities, the European Commission was called on to “move forward urgently” with the so-called short-term rental initiative, according to Politico.

With the new rulebook, the EU’s executive is set to engage in a debate that for years has mostly been played out in EU cities, courts and member states. Airbnb and EU leaders should work together to create models of sustainable tourism, which benefit the local people financially while protecting the communities.

An EU-wide survey carried out by the Commission between September and December last year to prepare the initiative revealed just how controversial the issue is. The survey received 5,696 responses, an unusually high number. In addition to platforms such as Airbnb and Booking.com, a coalition of cities has also taken a stand, calling itself the “European Alliance of Cities for Short Breaks”. Among the cities were major tourist areas such as Amsterdam, Barcelona, ​​Paris and Berlin.

No one knows to this day what will become of the new rulebook. It was originally on the Committee’s agenda for June 1, but was postponed until the fall. It reappeared on a draft Commission agenda for 12 October, but was later dropped again.

Current increases in the cost of living, rents and house prices are putting many European households under escalating financial pressures“, the letter states.

The letter’s signatories, as well as other observers, suspect the Commission needs some time to figure out how the rulebook will relate to other EU laws. Part of the debate surrounding short-term rental platforms is whether listings that defy local regulations should be considered “illegal content”, which the platforms will have to deal with.

Another point of contention is cities’ access to data held by short-term rental platforms. Cities claimed in their comments that they need access to all kinds of data (such as host IDs, the number of beds in the property and the number of nights rented) to enforce local rules, but the platforms said the requests these were “incompatible” with personal data issues.

Airbnb, in a statement, said that four in 10 hosts say hosting on Airbnb helps them cope with the rising cost of living. “We continue to support the EU’s work to update its rules and unlock the benefits of hospitality and the single market for more Europeans“, the platform said.

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