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Protecting artists' status and revenues in the EU




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Artists and cultural workers have been heavily affected by the COVID-19 crisis. Find out how the European Parliament wants to protect them, Society.

Arts and culture have provided comfort and relief to many people affected by the recent crisis. However, artists themselves are a vulnerable category, further affected by the pandemic.

The cultural and creative sectors were hit harder than tourism, with revenues down more than 30% in 2020 compared to 2019. The music sector lost 75% of its turnover and the performing arts one even more with 90%.

European Status of the Artist

To provide more stability, Parliament is calling for a European Status of the Artist, creating an EU-wide framework on working conditions and minimum standards, including equal access to social security, sickness insurance, pension schemes and a common EU definition of artists.

Read more on what the EU does to improve workers’ rights and working conditions.

A painter is drawing a portrait of a tourist

Simplified mobility

MEPs emphasised that differences between EU countries on the legal status of artists hinder collaboration and cross-border projects. Member states should foster mobility by recognising each other's cultural diplomas, reducing red tape and avoiding double taxation.

They called for specific programmes to encourage young creators to move and exchange across Europe. 7.2 million   Number of jobs in the EU's cultural and creative sectors


Copyright: Protection from streaming platforms

During the crisis, many authors and performers adapted to new digital distribution formats. While this allowed them to reach audiences, it also exposed them to unfair practices by dominant streaming platforms. Imposed "buy-out clauses" deprive authors of royalties by purchasing full copyright from them in exchange for a one-off payment. MEPs urged the European Commission and EU countries to ensure that artists have access to collective bargaining and that revenues are fairly distributed to all creators and rights holders.

Find out more on EU rules on copyright for the digital age.

More on what the EU does to support the cultural sector

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