Meeting Report: First virtual Meeting of the EuroFIA Group, November 19th 2020

EuroFIA Event Reports News Resolutions and Statements

In light of the pandemic, the EuroFIA group took the decision to convene in November via an online platform: the first virtual meeting of the group in its full configuration. Covid 19 led to the cancellation of the planned EuroFIA meeting in Istanbul in April 2020 and so a whole year had elapsed since the last meeting of the group. There was a high level of attendance of the Online EuroFIA, with over 50 delegates joining the meeting from across the EU and neighbouring countries. It was an important opportunity to review the various political and regulatory developments at EU level, where the last year has brought some significant flagship initiatives in both the social field and in relation to the digital sphere. The group dedicated a large part of its opening session to briefings and discussion on the upcoming Digital Services Act, to the ongoing work on competition law and collective bargaining for self-employed and on regulation of platform work, as well as on the Minimum Wage Directive and the current state of play. The group also discussed the various Covid 19 European Funding Packages (including planned social partner fund) and in particular the National Recovery and Resilience plans and the provisions that they may make for recovery in the Arts and Culture Field.

There was also a roundtable on national sectoral impact of the Covid 19 pandemic, the outlook and measures in each country and the union strategies that have been developed to support members in this crisis period. Across the board, unions have advocated for the safety net extended by government to affected workers to also reach the often atypical workers in the sector, who risk losing all income. Many FIA members have been involved in the negotiation, updating and application of health and safety protocols to allow safe return the work in the Audiovisual sector and also in the Live Performance sector in countries where numbers are low enough to allow theatres to operate. Many innovative examples for new strategies for union outreach to members via digital means were shared also.

Two resolutions were adopted. The first was a Resolution addressing the Turkish authorities regarding Actions on COVID 19 in the live Performance and audiovisual sectors, calling for urgent government action to allow the sector to survive the crisis. The second was a Resolution addressing the Spanish authorities, urging them to earmark 2% of their Recovery and Resilience National Plan budget for the cultural and creative sector, as recommended by the European Parliament (and not the 1% foreseen to cover both culture and sport).

The EuroFIA will convene again in virtual mode in the run-up to FIA’s Congress. The date will be selected and circulated in the coming weeks.

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