Catalan Government Starts Work on New Sharing Economy Rules

The Government of Catalonia has announced it is starting work on new rules that allow regular people to benefit from the sharing economy and home sharing. It said the new rules will clearly distinguish between professional service providers and regular people who share their assets to boost their income and pay the bills, following the example of other major European cities.

Peer to peer platforms are connecting demand to supply and helping regular people make best use of their resources, the Government said today. New legal frameworks are now needed that recognise this new economy and individuals who provide services.

Over the coming year, the Government of Catalonia will establish a new inter-departmental commision to advise the government on new rules and work closely with stakeholders, like Airbnb. The government also said it will follow closely news from the European Commission on the sharing economy. It follows a recent announcement that the Commission will work with member states to remove any unnecessary barriers to growth for the sharing economy.

This announcement marks the beginning of a new conversation on home sharing in Catalonia. Over the coming year, we want to work together to…

  • Clearly distinguish home sharers from professional accommodation providers: We are pleased the Government recognises that professional accommodation providers are different to regular people who share their homes to pay the bills. We want to work with the new commission to define home sharers and clearly distinguish them from traditional accommodation providers.
  • Introduce progressive home sharing rules that empower middle class families: The rules currently applied to home sharing in Catalonia were designed for a different industry in a different era. They don’t fit this new activity or how middle class families choose to use their homes. Home sharing is good news for Catalonia and needs its own clear rules.
  • Help hosts pay their fair share of tax: Airbnb hosts want to pay their fair share of tax and we want to help. We want to work with policymakers on clear and simple tax for Airbnb hosts that boost tax revenues for Catalonia and help hosts contribute financially to their region.
  • Clarify the role of online platforms: Airbnb is an online platform that is governed by clear European laws. As the European Commission continues its work to help member states understand how European rules – like the e-commerce directive – apply to online platforms, we want to continue educating policymakers about online platforms and their benefits.

We have long-stated our commitment to Catalonia. We want to be good partners to policymakers, make good on the commitments in the Community Compact and work together to help make Catalonia a better place to live, work and visit.

The announcement by the Government of Catalonia follows press reports last month saying government officials are working on new rules that distinguish home sharers from professional accommodation providers. The Spanish Competition Authority also said new home sharing rules are needed to empower consumers and boost the local economy – more here.

Last month, we released new data that showed the Airbnb community in Barcelona had a total economic impact of €740 million – almost six times higher than 2013. The typical host earns €5,100 by sharing their place for 58 nights a year and spreads economic benefits beyond the tourist hotspots to the communities middle call Barcelonians call home.

You can read more about the announcement here.