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Danish Prime Minister claims country not ready for technologically driven advancements

By: Smart Cities World Forums

“Denmark’s Prime Minister has claimed that the Scandinavian country is not properly equipped to adapt to the technologically driven changes of the labor market, following US ride-sharing firm Uber’s decision to leave the country due to what it deemed to be unfair regulatory policies introduced by the government.

Prime Minister, Lars Lokke Rasmussen, has insisted the country must be better prepared in the future in order to adapt to these technological advancements – and said the nation needed to be equipped to deal with the popularity of the sharing economy by modernizing regulations.

The statement comes hot on the heels of the decision by the global ride-hailing platform to exit the country. Danish politicians introduced legislation which required taxis to be fitted with seat sensors, more visible fare meters and increased video surveillance, and this amendment to the law, was ultimately the reason the organization suspended its services.

That decision split opinion in Denmark, with many elected officials celebrating the decision by Uber as a victory for labor rights, while others had the viewpoint that its policies were hampering innovation and growth in the economy. However, the debate has created a renewed sense of awareness in the country about the need for forward-thinking legislation, as opposed to reactionary measures.

Prime Minister Rasmussen has now publicly declared his ambition to accommodate new types of services in an effort to avoid a repetition with Uber in the future. He has confirmed that the government will appoint an advisory committee that will help lawmakers create tech-related legislation. The Danish government has announced plans to form a committee made of experts across different fields, which would include the heads of Microsoft Denmark, Danske Bank and Maersk – as well as other entrepreneurs in an attempt to establish the best path forward.

However, despite the Prime Minister’s talk about preparing Denmark for new technologies, Uber has been left out in the cold, with no representatives of the company being afforded one of 32 available places on the new committee.

The Nordic Director of Uber, Carl Edvard Endresen, has denied commenting on the fact that the company wasn’t awarded a seat on the committee (break-ups are hard). However, he expressed his hope that future legislations wouldn’t stand in the way of the next Uber.

He said: “It’s important to establish that there aren’t any contradictions between a well-regulated welfare state and new technology. Hopefully this will be a step in the right direction for the Danish government to bring citizens the best of both worlds; access to new and better services without infringing labor rights.””


Published: 17.05.2017

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