General social security measures apply in the same manner to the culture field as 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.
The Law on Culture
(1998, still in force) does not distinguish 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 as such with the court in order to obtain the legal legitimacy as an independent artist. Independent artists are responsible for paying their health, retirement and disability insurance taxes. However, the Ministry can provide financial help from the budget to cover these expenses. The Minister of Culture decides which independent artists will receive these funds based on specific criteria including the type, scope and quality of their 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. The latest data shows that there are over 100 independent artists who benefit from the state budget, including writers, film workers, actors, musicians and visual artists etc. On the other hand, it also shows that the selection criteria are not clear since a lot of users of the funding are from the entertainment industry, fashion and crafts etc. It also shows that one of the main “criteria” is the political affinity of the artists.
That is why, on the basis of the National Strategy for Cultural Development 2018-2022, a working group was established to propose new rules and criteria for this category. This category should also include cultural workers. Unfortunately, like all other working groups, it did not finish its job.