Meeting report: EuroFIA Online Meeting 14th December 2021

EuroFIA Event Reports News

The EuroFIA group convened for an online meeting at the close of 2021. Once again, the group had to meet in a virtual format, as the ongoing pandemic restrictions made a physical, international meeting impossible. The timing proved propitious at least, as the meeting took place shortly after the Commission released its long-awaited Draft Guidelines on Collective Bargaining for Self-employed, which are subject to consultation until February 24th, as well as the proposed Directive on Improving Working Conditions in Platform work. A first exchange on these important policy proposals took place at the meeting, with further analysis and opportunities for discussion foreseen for the new year.

The group was pleased to receive an update from Gerry O’ Brien, President of IEG Ireland, regarding the rollout of the pilot Minimum Income for Artists Scheme, which was highlighted at FIA’s Congress as a interesting example. The scheme is the result of a 2020 taskforce report, which had 10 key recommendations. Living conditions are low for artists and this was exacerbated by the pandemic. The PUP (pandemic payment) gave a first taste of a universal minimum income to those that could access it and efforts were made to ensure the payments reached those that needed it, also in cooperation with the union. An oversight group was set up to advise the Minister in relation to the new scheme and a budget is foreseen as of 2022. The goals are: to address loss of skills; contribute to recovery; stop talent drain and support wellbeing.

However, certain key challenges remain, such as how it will be assessed who is a professional artist and what to do about ancillary professions, that may be fundamental to the production of artistic works. Will stipends be expected to replace other important income flows to the sector? Will it be seen as an invisible subsidy and result in low-pay? Will those outside the system not be even more likely to take even lower pay? The scheme is expected to run 3 years and is budgeted at 25mi. Careful consideration of these fundamental issues are key and Irish Equity is playing an active role in the discussion. This will continue to be an important example and model for other countries.

The December meeting was also the last meeting of the Kunstenbond mandate as EuroFIA coordinator, which has already been renewed once, the maximum permissible under the group’s standing orders. That being the case, EuroFIA unions has been invited to volunteer for the role. Two unions have come forward with the idea of working together to fulfil this role of EuroFIA coordinator: the SFA, France and the AUT of Turkey: two unions from both inside and outside the EU; with two different perspectives and two complementary approaches. Both emphasized that they would be willing and keen to take up this dual role and work together in partnership for the coming two years and serve the group as well as possible. The group welcomed them as joint EuroFIA coordinators. The group extended its warm thanks to the Kunstenbond for its four years as coordinator, including during this challenging period when meetings have been digital due to the pandemic.

The group now looks forward to an in-person meeting, hopefully anticipated in the early summer of 2022 and which Conarte is keen to host in Madrid, circumstances permitting.

Scroll to Top
This site is registered on as a development site.