Bye, bye Brussels — the ride-hailing service Uber is set to halt the majority of its operations across Belgium tomorrow after a court hearing on Wednesday, which banned the service. The court order is one that lawmakers have been deliberating over as far back as 2015 and surrounded European regulations, which didn’t permit private vehicles to operate without a taxi license from the government.
Uber was stringing itself along since 2015 by operating in the country through various loopholes, but the recent judgment explicitly banned all services offered by the app. Uber Belgium’s CEO spoke out against the ruling by saying that the government had been promising legal reform for decades but never followed through and the move would see 2k riders losing out on a source of income. Yesterday, though, the government went through a quick turnaround and came out announcing that it’ll be reforming the legal framework and working on getting Uber riders operational again as soon as possible.
why it matters
This isn’t Uber’s first tussle with the law in Europe as earlier this year the UK Supreme Court forced the company to recognize its drivers as employees. Recent EU targets to reduce the amount of cars on roads, inline with their sustainability targets, shows that this won’t be Uber’s last set of issues in the region.