It is reported in the media of today that Bernard Cazeneuve, “France’s interior minister has ordered a ban on the low-cost car-sharing service UberPOP after a day of nationwide protests by taxi drivers.”
“France’s taxi drivers – who have to pay thousands of euros for a licence – say they are being unfairly undercut by UberPOP.” says the BBC.
Dear Bernard, you who have recently also been Minister delegate for European Affairs, should know that closing Uber is not the solution. You should know that licensing taxis should not cost thousands of euros. No licensing should cost anything more than its administrative cost and the public authorities may not make a profit. In fact if you have not heard about the Services Directive, the Dutch government has kindly provided simple explanatory text in English (sorry not French!). Please check the part called “License Fee”.
So, it follows that if one is not selective about the choice of laws to enforce, then the implementation of the Services Directive in French law would mean waiving the thousands of euro being paid by the licensed taxi drivers, so that then they would be at par with Uber. And then they would not be justified to take to the streets. In fact, immaterial of whether you ban Uber, they should protest for the government to waive the license fees or to reduce them drastically to just cover the costs.
Uber is based on a fundamental right. It is our right as citizens of Europe to travel freely, across borders, within borders and to, as drivers, carry with us other people – consenting passengers. Using licenses to inhibit new businesses from opening is illegal, because it is against the values of the European Union.
As a sign of solidarity with the Uber, here is this blog’s first free advert: