started this petition to
The Coronavirus pandemic 2020 has exposed a very important issue: The issue of the lack of National Insurance Category for Freelance Artists.
Everyone agrees that, classical and many of the modern arts as we know them in our western world, are a "European Cultural Heritage" and therefore, European countries have been promoting Arts as a very important subject for studies, especially the last 5-6 decades. In older times, arts used to be more a kind of "closed professions": One had to learn it directly from the master, then assist them, then maybe succeed on their own. Nowadays, every year, thousands of people from all over the world (not only Europe) graduate from European Universities as "professional artists" and most of them will prefer to live and work in Europe. Today, it is not too much to say that, almost every family in Europe, counts at least one "artistic" member! But the majority of these professional artists will not work (only) as state employees. Many of them actually will never work as state employees and will remain "freelancers" for their whole life. What does that mean, when it comes to the practical matters of a human life, like insurance, or rent? It means that freelance artists nowadays need their very own National (or European) Insurance Category, that will serve their special professional needs.
Why? Because after many years of difficult studies (classical musicians start studying around the age of 9, or even younger, ballet dancers even at the age of...4!) that cost a lot of money (art studies cost very much!) freelance artists will have to deal for ever, not only with the never ending competition, the huge anounts of stress and the fact that their work will be judged mostly subjectively, but also with low wages, lack of working places, lack of working stability, huge delays on payments, a working environment that is often aggressive (sexually or otherwise) and is full of non written (often very wrong) rules and "traditions" that create a very hostile working environment.
Germany has a special Social Insurance Category for Freelance Artists (and Journalists) that is called Künstlersozialkasse (KSK) and it's created exactly for all the reasons mentioned above. It provides the artists medical care and rent, the rent according to the amount of money and time the artist has invested to KSK.
"The Artists' Social Fund (KSK) is a division of the Federal and Railway Accident Insurance. With the implementation of the Artists' Social Insurance Act (KSVG) it ensures that self-employed artists and publicists enjoy similar protection in statutory social insurance as employees. It is not a service provider itself, but coordinates the payment of contributions for its members to health insurance of their choice and to statutory pension and long-term care insurance. The entire statutory range of services is available to independent artists and publicists. You only have to pay half of the contributions due out of your own pocket, the KSK tops up the amounts from a federal grant (20%) and social security contributions from companies (30%) that use art and journalism. The monthly contribution an artist / publicist pays to the KSK depends on the amount of his working income. If this is not above the de minimum limit of 3,900.00 euros per year, the KSK cannot be used as a rule (exception: young professionals)."
You can read more here: www.kuenstlersozialkasse.de
We want a similar system to happen to Greece, and of course to all European countries. Greece has no plan for the freelance artists and their survival. It never had. It actually has no plan at all around arts and artists. In Greece, freelance artists live since decades as "third class citizens", often reaching the end of their lives poor and miserable, with no rent. The government often accuses artists of "working illegally" when, at the same time, it doesn't help them work legally. It is impossible for a Greek artist to maintain any Social Security and its expenses, when living in a country that doesn't create jobs for all of the artists, and doesn't even create a positive environment for freelances to support themselves. We know that this doesn't happen only in Greece.
Right now, there are thousands freelance artists out there, of all ages, who are left without a job, without a future, without hope, and more will follow, and they all need your support. We are already 3 months without work and more months will follow. The little money that some governments give to some of us (not the majority!) as a "help", is welcome, but it doesn't really resolve anything.
SIGN NOW! We ask from the European Union to immediately stand behind its artists and help them survive, live and work as they are worth, by making all European governments follow the example of Germany and their system (KSK).
Art, Europe's Cultural Heritage is a heavy load! Help us carry it.
Thank you/ Ευχαριστούμε
Posted: 17 May 2020 (Updated: 20 May 2020)