Uber is about to suspend operations in Brussels after the court ruling

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi speaks at a product launch event in San Francisco, California on September 26, 2019.

Philip Pacheco | AFP via Getty Images

Uber was ordered to stop offering its main ride-hailing service in the Belgian capital Brussels from Friday evening.

The Brussels Court of Appeal on Wednesday ruled that the 2015 ban on individuals providing taxi services also applies to professional drivers.

“From this Friday you will not be able to take an Uber in the EU capital”, Uber wrote on Twitter Wednesday. “We are disappointed with the court’s decision today to close our Brussels application.”

Uber said the decision goes against the European Commission’s green and digital ambitions. The European Commission is the executive body of the European Union.

Uber has been fighting legal battles across Europe over how it uses drivers and complies with taxi regulations. It says drivers enjoy the flexibility of being self-employed but some drivers say they struggle to make ends meet through the app while also missing out on employee benefits like sick pay and leave annual.

Uber has urge everyone sign suggestion to save 2,000 professional drivers using Uber in the city.

Niklas Oestberg, co-founder and CEO of food delivery app Delivery Hero, also criticized the decision.

Grandfather wrote on Twitter. “Uber disrupted the taxi industry 10 years ago and we still don’t have a better solution than this?”

Angry motorists blocked the main street leading from European institutions to central Brussels to protest on Thursday and the Brussels movement regulator advise Drive to avoid passing through the city.

Government of Brussels agreed on Thursday on a proposal to reform the region’s private car and taxi industries. Authorities said they would “actively seek an interim solution” for Uber, although a solution has yet to be officially announced.

Brussels minister-president Rudi Vervoort wrote on Twitter that the agreement “must ensure a quality service in line with the new habits of customers and users.”

The court also fined Uber 300,000 euros ($336,000), according to Bloomberg. It is said to have asked two of the company’s units to pay 150,000 euros each as it supported a complaint by Taxis Verts, a taxi firm in Brussels.

While London is Uber’s largest market in Europe, Brussels is a large city with many business delegates and politicians visiting the city regularly. Uber is about to suspend operations in Brussels after the court ruling

Sarah Ridley

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