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 Full text 
Wednesday, 12 February 2020 - Strasbourg Provisional edition

A social Europe in a Digital world (topical debate)

  Kim Van Sparrentak (Verts/ALE). – Madam President, the Commission has promised us a more social Europe time and time again, and if we want to deliver on these promises we need to look at the real life effects the digital economy has. Finding an affordable place to live has become nearly impossible in many European cities. Mayors of major cities such as Amsterdam, Prague and Barcelona have declared that short-term rental platform such as Airbnb and Booking are one of the main causes of the housing crisis we are currently in.

Airbnb wasn’t set up to let private investors buy dwellings in big cities to turn them into illegal hotels, but we have moved far beyond the initial idea of the airbed and occasional renting out of a spare room, and due to intensive lobbying European market rules are currently protecting the billions these platforms are making, rather than ensuring that people have an affordable house to live in.

We need to make sure that a social Europe will be at the core of our efforts towards a Europe fit for the digital age, and that this isn’t an opening, a back door, for the big corporations to undermine a social Europe.

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