MEP Marlene Mizzi promoting entrepreneurship in the digital era
MEP Marlene Mizzi last week hosted a conference in the European Parliament on opportunities and challenges faced by entrepreneurs in the new era of digitisation of the economy and the advent of the collaborative economy ‘Rethinking Employment: Are microentrepreneurs the future?’
At the well-attended event, scientists, stakeholders, MEPs and representatives of the Commission sparked an interesting discussion on the issues surrounding the digitalisation of the single market, the benefits and the challenges of digitisation for micro enterprises, and in particular, the changing way in which we think about entrepreneurship and employment.
During the event, MEP Marlene Mizzi stressed that “whilst the Union must fully realise the potential and opportunities offered by the internet and e-commerce for the future development of the single market, we also need to realise that there are a number of challenges that might affect consumers, workers and traditional business providers and suppliers.” MEP Mizzi added that this has been particularly energised around the rapid growth of the collaborative economy and appearance of various digital platforms and websites such as Uber and Airbnb.
MEP Mizzi said: “Collaborative economy is a new model of economic activity empowering consumers to capitalise on their own property and skills and providing a new range of opportunities for micro-entrepreneurship. This makes it difficult to establish sometimes: Who is the consumer, who is the employer and the employee and who is the entrepreneur and the business.”
In conclusion, Ms Mizzi pointed out that “in the coming months EU legislators need to look very closely at the dynamics of change so as not to stifle economic benefits emerging from these new economic models, whilst at the same time safeguarding existing employment rights, high quality working conditions and social welfare schemes, and ensure that a real level playing field in the single market is maintained. This is especially true given citizens’ apprehensions that are driving the backlash against globalisation,” said MEP Mizzi.