Although there are no policies or measures to promote exclusively and explicitly artistic freedom, the concept is very much at the core of the government’s policy in general and of every measure taken in favour of artists and creative professionals, notably in terms of creating social and economic conditions allowing them to work freely and independently.
An important element to that regard is the State support system for independent professional artists and intermittent workers. According to the amended law of 19 December 2014 relating to 1) social measures for the benefit of independent professional artists and intermittent workers and 2) the promotion of artistic creation, may indeed benefit from social assistance for a period of 24 months (renewable) on the provision that they fulfil prerequisites, such as being continuously registered in Luxembourg for at least 6 months prior to the request, having performed artistic services for at least 3 years etc. Intermittent workers in the entertainment industry, who alternate between periods of employment and periods of inactivity, are entitled to involuntary-out-of-work benefits, provided for instance that they have worked for at least 80 days over the course of the 365 calendar days prior to the application, that during that time they worked either for businesses, for any type of entertainment organiser or in the context of a production, etc.
Considering that certain of these provisions are no longer appropriate due to the evolution of the cultural sector in recent years as well as the evolution of the professionals’ working and living conditions (notably because of the Covid19 pandemic), an adaptation to this legislation has been submitted to Parliament in November 2021 by the ministry of Culture. The proposed amendments are the result of a dialogue between the various representatives of the artistic and cultural scene, launched at the end of 2019 by a public consultation, which aimed to launch reflections on the usefulness of such an adaptation. Consequently, changes applying to artists would comprise, for instance, the reduction of one year, or even the exemption (for university graduates) of the reference period preceding the application, as well as increase in the period of the benefit of aid and of the amounts of monthly aid. For intermittent workers, the scope will be broadened to include more professions and activities, the possibility of suspending the period of eligibility for aid (in the event of illness, maternity leave, parental leave, etc.) will be revised and adapted, etc.
In terms of artists’ mobility, the creation in 2020 of the arts council type Kultur|lx specifically aims to improve and increase the promotion of professional artists’ abroad and to improve abilities and capacities for their career development. This excludes however nonprofessional artists and focusses on specific countries that are being determined by Kultur|lx according to a market logic.
In complement to these measures, a draft bill has also been tabled early 2022 to reintroduce a cultural leave, modifying the Labour Code, the law establishing the general status of State civil servants and the law establishing the general status of communal civil servants. “The purpose of cultural leave is to allow participation in high-level cultural events or recognized events that are not part of the applicant’s main professional activity, or to offer the possibility of participating in specialized training in the cultural field organized by an approved body. Three categories of persons may be granted cultural leave: cultural actors, administrative executives or persons designated by federations, national networks or associations in the cultural sector.”