Two European commissioners defend Uber

Critics of Uber described as counterproductive and backward-looking

Two European commissioners yesterday came to the defence of ride-hailing service Uber and other “sharing economy” companies, casting their critics as counterproductive and backward-looking.

Commissioner for industry and the internal market Elzbieta Bienkowska said: "Maybe it's a stupid comparison, but it's like fighting with print in medieval times. It's not a problem, it's just a new business model."

Jyrki Katainen, a commission vice-president, said the struggle with Uber – which has resulted in its UberPop service being banned in cities across Europe – raised questions over whether some national rules were still fit for purpose in the digital age.

“The sharing economy is a growing economy it will offer a huge amount of new jobs and investment,’’ Mr Katainen said. “We should have a common policy on this.’’