While agreeing that collaborative economy was booming and that it needs to be regulated, several panellists at Friday's conference on the new economic concept pinpointed some of the model's traps and challenges, including the precarisation of labour.
Tea Jarc of the youth trade union Mladi plus warned that collaborative economy was in fact not collaborative as the name might suggest, but rather a platform economy. She believes that the model does not create new jobs or provide security, it is a form of precarious labour.
Acknowledging that the nature of labour has been changing, State Secretary at the Ministry of Labour, Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities Peter Pogačar agreed that the main challenge in the future would be to provide economic, legal and social security to workers in collaborative economy. However, it remains unclear who would represent this segment of workers in the social dialogue, he added.
The head of the Slovenian Consumer Association Breda Kutin, moreover, said that it should be made sure that multinationals do not get all the profits without paying taxes, and that technology should be used to strengthen transparency.
Turning to his field of expertise - hospitality - the head of Ljubljana's City Hotel Peter Sušnik took issue with professional investors who buy real estate to rent it out on platforms such as Airbnb.
According to him, this has become an issue in big cities, where people can no longer afford to rent or buy property in city centres and are pushed to the outskirts.
Zarja Mavec, the director of Inalbea, which helps people rent out their apartments on Airbnb, on the other hand, noted that such practices helped people earn some money on the side and get them thorough the month.
Slovenia's digital champion Marko Grobelnik pointed to the fact that collaborative economy had been around for quite some time, it is just that technology opened a vast number of new channels for various providers of services.
The number of providers and potentially very low earnings were pinpointed as a challenge by Finance Ministry State Secretary Tilen Božič.
The conference was organised by the Public Administration Ministry, the European Commission Representation in Slovenia and the Slovenian Press Agency.