Voices of Culture

Status and Working Conditions of Artists and Cultural and Creative Professionals

June 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic has put a new urgency on policy makers on national and European level to address the working conditions in the cultural and creative sector. A new Voices of Culture Brainstorming Report on the topic has just been published. This report is the result of a dialogue between representatives of the cultural and creative sector and the European Commission in which the EMC and several of its members were actively involved. In the following five chapters, the report lists a number of recommendations and best practice examples:

  •  Legal status, recognition, social security
  • Fair pay, collective bargaining, intellectual property, flattening income variations, financial support
  • research, lifelong learning, representation, entrepreneurship
  • mobility
  • artistic freedom and freedom of expression

Starting in autumn 2021, representatives of the EU Member States will also discuss this topic through the so-called “Open Method of Coordination” (OMC) over the next years.

Read the report

In October 2021, the European Parliament adopted the resolution "The situation of artists and the cultural recovery in the EU" which addresses three main topics: cross-border mobility, copryright income and streaming platforms as well as artistic freedom defence. It also calls on the European Commission to propose a "European Status of the Artist" while respecting the national competences for labour and cultural policy.

“The situation of Artists and Cultural Workers and post-COVID-19 cultural recovery in the EU” is a background analysis implemented by Culture Action Europe for the Culture and Education Committee (CULT) of the European Parliament. It provides an overview of key characteristics of artists’ status across Europe, their working conditions, precariousness and career paths. By summarising the main profiles of the relevant competencies of the EU, this background analysis outlines the legislative and non-legislatives instruments in the EU to adopt a comprehensive policy approach on this topic.

Summary by Culture Action Europe
Full background analysis

In December 2020, the European Commission had published a study on "The status and working conditions of artists and cultural and creative professionals" which was conducted in close collaboration with Culture Action Europe, IETM, On the Move, Pearle* and Freemuse.


Culture and the Sustainable Development Goals: Challenges and Opportunities

February 2021

The ‘Culture and the UN Sustainable Development Goals: Challenges and Opportunities’ Brainstorming Report results from a Brainstorming Meeting organised by Voices of Culture on the 2nd and 3rd of December 2020. This Brainstorming Report was presented to the European Commission in a Dialogue Meeting on the 11 February 2021. The EMC actively participated in both meetings.

The Brainstorming Report focuses on three of the Sustainable Development Goals and outlines recommendations and best practice examples:

• Culture & decent work, economic growth and employment (SDG 8)
• Culture & sustainable cities and communities (SDG 11)
• Culture as a transformational pathway for just transition (SDG 13)

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Gender equality: gender balance in the cultural and creative sectors

September 2019

The dialogue meeting on 'Gender equality: gender balance in the cultural and creative sectors' took place in September 2019. The Brainstorming Report was presented to the European Commission in November 2019. The EMC was actively involved in the Dialogue process.

The topic is further explored with recommendations and best practice examples focused on the following issues:

• Equal access for women to the labour market and leadership positions
• Education and training: gender stereotypes, representation and role models
• An end to sexual violence
• Systemic discrimination demands systemic change

Read the report