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Europe’s Metropolitan cities battle the negative impact of short-term housing

With the goal of figuring out solutions to short-term housing, leaders of European metropolitan cities held talks with European Commission Vice President Margarethe Vestager

  • 21 september 2020 14:30
  • Author Karel Král
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In recent years, European metropolitan cities have witnessed the growth of real estate properties created solely with the intent of providing short-term housing which in turn became a hit for both tourists and citizens. As a consequence of the rapid growth of these estates, a myriad of problems ensued.

Metropolitan cities, whose historical centres are among the most affected, must now seek the help of the European Commission. Citizens of these areas raised their complaints about the noise, housing prices, complete lack of choice when considering new housing, or the disturbance of peace which are caused by tenets of such short-term housing units.

Tinkering with solutions without damaging the economy

Most European cities facing such issues have attempted to regulate the use of this type of short-term housing. But unfortunately, these efforts have been unsuccessful in no small part due to the unwillingness of digital platforms to provide authorities with useful and crucial pieces of information on their users. The end result is that at this moment, there is nothing that can properly and effectively stop and prevent landlords and digital platforms from continuing their lucrative activities.

Local governments, however, understand and are keenly aware of the importance of tourism and how it meshes with short-term housing opportunities - therefore they do not oppose the concept of short-term housing in principle. Yet the need for specific rules and regulation on the practice remains crucial as authorities require the competences to enforce the law and keep landlords and other beneficiaries accountable.

For that reason, leaders of several European metropolitan cities came together on 17  September with the intent of discussing the implementation of the "Digital Service Act". This Act was introduced by the European Commission Vice-President Margrethe Vestager with the purpose of helping reign in digital platforms by forcing them to deliver critical information and relevant data which are crucial for their effective monitoring and administration. The Act should then ensure better cooperation between said platforms and governmental bodies.

"Better cooperation between digital platforms and local authorities is an essential prerequisite for the proper adoption of the Digital Services Act. It will create a modern and harmonized regulatory framework that respects the needs of national and local authorities while creating a predictable environment for innovative digital services," said Margrethe Vestager, Vice-President of the European Commission.

The adoption of the Digital Service Act is perhaps the best hope for European metropolitan cities in their fight with these modern challenges. For this reason, local governments around Europe are putting their trust in vice-president of European Commission Margrethe Vestager in the hope that this crucial piece of legislation will find its way to enactment and proper implementation.

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