Improving legislation on short-term rental platforms for a better cohabitation
Short-term rental platforms and their impact on the real estate sector and cities in Europe was the topic of the last online seminar co-organised by the URBAN Intergroup and the European Association of Real Estate Professions (CEPI), which is also one of the Intergroup’s official partners.
Jan Olbrycht, President of the URBAN Intergroup, opened the seminar by welcoming the discussion and clarified the importance of the phenomenon of short-term rental platforms and its impact on tourism, housing and the real estate sector in general, as well as on urban developments in European cities.
Elisabeth Rohr -de Wolf, CEPI Secretary-General, underlined that the European Association of Real Estate Professions (CEPI) was happy to co-organise this session on short-term rental platforms (STRs) together with the URBAN Intergroup as it brought together many of the key players involved in the field enabling all to discuss the different challenges and opportunities surrounding STRs. In her opening address, Elisabeth Rohr -de Wolf, underlined that CEPI does not intend to promote a pro/anti narrative in this field. She suggested the need for a better understanding of this relatively new ecosystem, highlighting the requirement to study its potential in the sharing economy, as well as ensuring that appropriate regulation remains in place for the benefit of all. The ultimate aim, she concluded, is not to discriminate against alternative business models but to ensure a level playing field for all involved parties.
During the first panel discussion, Federico Ranuzzi de’ Bianchi, CEPI Vice-President (FIAIP, Italy), recalled that the short-term rental system is not only proposed by big online platforms but by real estate agencies as well. This type of rentals, in fact, is not only destined to tourists but it is also relevant for mobile workers and students. Luis de Prado, CEPI Vice-President (CGCAFE, Spain), underlined the need for reflection on how real estate and property management agencies on one side, and online short-term rental platforms on the other, could beneficially co-exist on the market. He emphasised that platforms should encourage their customers to respect rules concerning the quality of life of inhabitants and that more control of customers’ inappropriate behaviours should be put in place in order to avoid potential conflicts in the buildings. He called for a better organisation of this section of the rental market in order to find the best ways of coexistence between different operators.
European Cities alliance on Short Term Holiday Rentals- Feedback on the Inception Impact Assessments on Short-term rental initiatives
Covenant of Mayors for a climate-neutral Europe-last event
Members and partners of the URBAN Intergroup had a chance to listen to a presentation of the Covenant of Mayors for a climate-neutral Europe last Friday (October 8th).
The Covenant of Mayors is the world’s largest movement for local climate and energy actions. It gathers more than 10.000 local authorities across Europe whose vision is to accelerate the decarbonisation of their territories, strengthen their capacity to adapt to unavoidable climate change impacts, and allow their citizens to access secure, sustainable and affordable energy.
Jan Olbrycht, President of the URBAN Intergroup, recalled at the opening of the event the beginnings of the Covenant, and some raising questions about the status and ownership of this bottom-up network of Mayors. After all those years of activities, the Covenant of Mayors is, according to Jan Olbrycht, “very well known, stable and a prestigious Pact”. He underlined as well the engagement of the European Parliament and the warm words of EP President David Sassoli that “Mayors’ actions will provide concrete results for the European Green deal”, during the Covenant of Mayors – Europe Ceremony 2021 that took place the day before the URBAN Intergroup event. Jan Olbrycht finally reminded the role of local authorities in the implementation of EU policies and targets on the ground: “We need a clear voice coming from the cities especially ahead of negotiations of the Fit for 55 package.”
Eero Ailio, Adviser on Energy Transition and Local Governance, from the European Commission DG Energy and Frédéric Boyer, Head of the Covenant of Mayors Office Europe, jointly presented the achievements and future challenges of the Covenant of Mayors. To set the scene, they recalled the major legislative proposals setting EU climate and energy ambitions, starting with the publication of the Green Deal in December 2019, the European climate Law (March 2020), the 2030 Climate Target Plan (September 2020) and finally the Fit for 55 package (published in July 2021). In this particular context, they showed how the Covenant of Mayors’ bottom-up approach to climate and energy ambitions of the EU. Moreover, the Covenant of Mayors in Europe community brings more than 10 thousand European local governments, which are committed to meet or exceed EU climate and energy targets from 2020 to 2030 and 2050 climate neutrality. This is the largest initiative of its kind in the world. It has been recalled how in 2016 the European Covenant of Mayors became the Global Covenant of Mayors with the engagement of Michael Bloomberg. Thanks to the support of several Commissions DGs and the pooling of different financial sources from EU Funds, the European Union invested in regional offices of the Global Covenant of Mayors.