Digital transition is at the centre of proposals linked to the EU Recovery Plan, Cohesion Policy and other policies.
But do we know which direction this transition should follow?
A European alliance of commons activists, social economy networks and academics (La Coop des Communs – France ; Smart – Belgium ; Internet Interdisciplinary Institute of the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya – Spain ; European Network of Cities and Regions for the Social Economy – REVES aisbl) and their partners (Coompanions – Sweden) have elaborated a position paper with proposals linked to the added value of platform cooperativism which has been co-signed by organisations such as the International Cooperative Alliance, Platform Cooperativism Consortium, Social Economy Europe or P2P Foundation.
You will find the position paper here.
The paper is still open to the signature of other organisations.
The EU Recovery Plan can be an important lever of change also in the platform economy.
This is the moment to draw the attention of EU policy-makers on the added value of a digital transition serving people and planet.
Gigantic players such as Amazon, Uber or AirBnb are about to monetize and “platformize” almost any aspect of people’s lives, including the most sensitive ones: personal opinions, daily activities, the functioning of democracies, the autonomy of states and the EU. Other digital start-ups follow their example.
Some alternatives, so-called « platform cooperatives », have emerged to develop alternative models in many sectors : provision of food, mobility, care, support of SMEs, tourism, IT, … They differentiate themselves through democratic governance, territorial links, a fair sharing of the created value, a particular care for users’ wellbeing, ethical use of data, specific attention to enhancing social utility and environmental protection, inter-cooperation between projects. They have proven their value for the resilience of territories once again in the framework of the covid19 crisis. An increasing number of cities and regions are developing partnerships with these platform coop initiatives.
However, a lot remains to be done so that platform coops can compete on a level playing field with dominant platforms and are able to attain sustainable economic models.