EU Protecting artists’ status & revenues

Brussels 29.10.2021 Artists and cultural workers have been heavily affected by the Covid-19 crisis. Find out how the European Parliament wants to protect them.

Arts and culture have provided comfort and relief to many people affected by the recent crisis. However, artists themselves are a vulnerable category, further affected by the pandemic.

The cultural and creative sectors were hit harder than tourism, with revenues down more than 30% in 2020 compared to 2019. The music sector lost 75% of its turnover and the performing arts one even more with 90%.

To provide more stability, Parliament is calling for a European Status of the Artist, creating an EU-wide framework on working conditions and minimum standards, including equal access to social security, sickness insurance, pension schemes and a common EU definition of artists.

MEPs emphasised that differences between EU countries on the legal status of artists hinder collaboration and cross-border projects. Member states should foster mobility by recognising each other’s cultural diplomas, reducing red tape and avoiding double taxation.

They called for specific programmes to encourage young creators to move and exchange across Europe.

During the crisis, many authors and performers adapted to new digital distribution formats. While this allowed them to reach audiences, it also exposed them to unfair practices by dominant streaming platforms. Imposed “buy-out clauses” deprive authors of royalties by purchasing full copyright from them in exchange for a one-off payment. MEPs urged the European Commission and EU countries to ensure that artists have access to collective bargaining and that revenues are fairly distributed to all creators and rights holders.

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