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The Status of Artists in Europe: A challenge for multi-stakeholder governance

The status and freedom of artists and other creative professions is frequently seen as an indicator for the state of societies as a whole. While the core social and economic problems most them are facing in their professional life are quite similar across Europe, governments still tend to adopt different solutions. According to the principle of multi-stakeholder governance, democratic policy making should strive - like in other domains of our societies - towards addressing such issues in an inclusive way, i.e. by giving these professionals resp. their organisations a voice in problem-solving processes. The purpose of this "Themes!" section is to facilitate the retrieval and comparison of related information:

  • The Compendium country profiles address, inter alia, employment policies for the cultural sector or the status of female artists (Chapter 4.2); social security, labour, copyright or fiscal frameworks, e.g. special tax regimes for self-employed artists (Chapter 5.1); support schemes for artists and other creative workers (Chapter 8.1). This information enables users to identify traditional and innovative approaches which, in some cases, could help to inspire new policy developments;
  • Comparative, easy-to-read overviews of social security laws, income tax measures and VAT reductions for self-employed artists as well as a monitoring table on major legal and political developments during the last 15 years are available in this section under "Tables";
  • Links to selected documents and studies are being provided under "Key Resources".

An overall assessment of the information provided in the Compendium may arrive at the following conclusion:

In addition to the systems of direct public support for the arts and artists, there are pieces of legislation in many European countries which take into account some of the social and /or economic needs of creative workers resulting from their often precarious working status. However, "integrated models" which facilitate cooperation between cultural policies (including direct and indirect measures) and other areas of policy making (e.g. economics, social affairs, health or employment) are few. A re-orientation or re-focussing of existing public policies for artists and their working environment in a more integrated manner remains a challenging task - artists and their associations or unions could try to contribute to solutions for this problem.