5.1.4 Social security frameworks
General social security measures apply in the same manner to the culture field as for any other sector. This also applies to unemployment schemes.
General social security measures also apply to freelance artists who have gained their status in appropriate procedures and have been confirmed by a proper Act of the Minister of Culture.
According to the former Law on Independent Artists (1982), the legislator acknowledged the special status of independent (unemployed) artists in comparison with other cultural workers. According to this law, the Ministry of Culture recognised their status as independent artists and provided budgetary resources to cover monthly fees on health, retirement and disability insurance.
In 1998, this law was abolished with the passing of the Law on Culture that distinguishes between independent professional and amateur artists. Every person, regardless of age, sex, education and religion has the freedom and the right to engage in creative work. The law defines an artist as a person who creates or performs an authored artistic activity.
If an individual chooses art as a profession (the only one from which an income is earned), then he / she must legally register him / herself as such with the court in order to obtain the legal legitimacy as an independent artist. Related rights and obligations that are available for independent professionals in the other fields accompany this professional status.
Independent artists are responsible for paying their health, retirement and disability insurance taxes. However, the Ministry can provide them with some financial resources from the budget to cover these taxes. The Minister of Culture decides which individuals will receive these funds based on specific criteria including the type, scope and quality of creative work, in a procedure and a manner determined by law.
In the year 2000, a Book of Rules was published. It outlines the selection criteria to be used in the allocation of public funding to independent artists; derived from the budget of the Republic. An annual competition is announced each September in the newspapers. In 2001, 31 independent artists were successful; 39 in 2002 and the same number (39) in 2003.
The latest data (2009) shows that the list of independent artists numbers 73: 5 writers, 9 film workers, 5 actors, 22 musicians and 32 visual artists. On the other hand, it also shows that the selection criteria is not that clear since a lot of the selected "artists" are from the entertainment industry, fashion, crafts etc.
See also comparative information provided in the Compendium "Themes!" section under "Status of Artists".