European Transport and Mobility Forum

Legislative context as an obstacle?


(Alain L'Hostis) #1

The project Mobility4EU has shown that the legislative context could play two very different roles in the development of new moblity solutions, and hence of new business models.

  • preventing innovation, limiting the development of new social and economic uses, new practices not documented in the current legislative framework
  • foster innovation, allow for experimenting new models

Could you propose examples where the legislative context has been an obstacle? Or examples where the legislative context, European, national, and why not local, has played a positive role regarding mobility innovation?

(Marcia Urban) #2

The European Commission provides the Innovation Principle which ensures that legislation is designed in a way that creates the best possible conditions for innovation to flourish:

Opponents claim that this Innovation Principle is a platform of chemical, tobacco, and fossil fuel corporations to keep their products in the market with the least possible restrictions and legislation (

In terms of transport solutions, I assume connected and automated driving to be one of the big future challenges for the EC to provide fostering instead of hindering legislation for the implementation.

However, from my current knowledge in this topic, I cannot provide you with concrete examples, Alain. Maybe the others would like to highlight some examples?

(jeffrey matthijs) #3

This is an example of a concrete legislation conflict in Flanders:

In Flanders we are running an innovative project about sharing wheelchair friendly cars (AVIRA). It’s great for getting acces to a bigger car and for persons with reduced mobility it grants more mobility options as participants are being engaged to be a volunteer driver. It can be established in 3 manners/

  1. a care organisation owns a wheelchair friendly car and starts to share with neighborhood.
  2. a private person owns a wheelchair friendly car and starts to share with neighborhood.
  3. a carsharing providers adds a wheelchair friendly car in the own fleet.

The legislative problem appears in case 2. Private person can get a grant + TVA reduction (6% instead of 21%) when they need to adapt their vehicle so it’s wheelchair friendly. BUT they only get it when they are using the vehicle only for themselves. So when they start sharing the car they have to pay back the grant and TVA reduction.

The first one (grant) can be settled with Flemish government and they are willing to adapt legislation. The second one is far more difficult because European legislation. Apparently TVA is sensitive topic in EU. It’s about unfair competition.

So far we weren’t able to fix this matter on European level. Although 10 persons want to share a private wheelchair friendly car, currently no one is sharing because of this European legislation threshold.

(jeffrey matthijs) #4

Another concrete Flanders case but this time a positive one!

in order to promote zero emission vehicles, Flanders provides a grant for purchasing new electric cars for private persons (CPT-program). People could lose this grant if they started to share their vehicle. Also this grant was not being available for carsharing providers.

With a consortium of carsharing providers we made an argumentation and nowadays this grant is available for carsharing providers and private persons sharing an EV.

Apart from the usual arguments connection to the positive effects of carsharing (environment, public space, modal shift,…) we we’re also able to show carsharing providers relatively are owning EV’s 50 times more than the Flemish population.

(Alain L'Hostis) #5

Brilliant argument!

(Freek Bos) #6

Amsterdam banned free floating bicycles after an ‘invasion’ of these innovated schemes. On a short term this was good for the city, but is it on the long term? It is limiting new entrants and OV-Fiets (Public Transport Bike, part of Dutch National Railways) is less competed

(Rebecca Hueting) #7

“Swap Mobility”

In June 2019 a new car-sharing service was launched in Rome (website in italian only, for the moment):

Similar to YOYO service or other urban car-sharing services, the available cars in this case are not owned by the company but by the same users who are allowed to “swap” cars with other users. Born from the collaboration of ALD automotive (Car Rental) and the italian start-up Hurry, it works as an ordinary long-term rental, where the owner of the car gives right to the car-rental company to rent her/his car to the subscribed users. In the last three years policy makers are working hard to support innovation and sharing economy and identify risks and opportunities (they used a collaborative and open law-discussion here: The parliament is now in the process of discussing a law-proposal for non-professional car sharing and car-pooling.

In conclusion the legislation, as usual, tries to support innovation while also preventing liability issues with new regulations. We’ll have to wait and see what happens with the different initiatives and verify their viability on the long term (costs, benefits and risks). Indeed, end-users are becoming aware of the real potential of sharing economy and the legislative context will eventually need to find solutions and adapt to the rise of new mobility demands (and offers!).

p.s. sorry for italian only links, we’re not that “sharing” yet about information… :woman_facepalming: