Freedom to provide services is one of the cornerstones of the EU internal market. Facilitated by the digital technologies, new and innovative service markets are emerging. However, innovations often bump into existing obstacles. Whether constrained by inadequate regulatory environment, or opposition from existing service providers in the market, the fact remains that ‘old economy’ is not ready for innovation. The free movement of services is not so ‘free’ when it is about services in a non-harmonised field or when the particular type of service is for some reason awarded a ‘special’ status in primary or secondary EU law. The services in the field of transport, for example, fall under the EU’s competences in the field of common transport policy and their provision is still, to a large extent, left to the regulation at the Member States’ level. The problem arises when innovative services, such as those associated with ICT and digital economy, are labelled as and moulded into existing services, because there is simply no appropriate regulatory framework to recognise their innovativeness. This paper will analyse and critically evaluate the legal challenges of service provision in the online platform economy and offer possible guidelines for the creation of a suitable legal framework for their operation.
- Nada Bodiroga - Vukobat, Ana Pošćić, Adrijana Martinović
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