Art and culture are an integral part of our societies and enrich the quality of our lives in many ways.

While the ability of art to bring people from different backgrounds and cultures together is becoming increasingly recognized at EU and Member State levels, the COVID-19 crisis - that has shaken artistic and cultural life across Europe and has been particularly hard on artists and cultural professionals - further revealed and exacerbated the depth and scope of the fragile nature of work in the cultural and creative sectors (CCS). 

The status and working conditions of artists and cultural and creative professionals is a priority theme of the EU Work Plan for Culture 2023 – 2026 and over the past years, this issue has also been taken up at several levels.

To mention just a few initiatives at EU level: an OMC group on the status and working conditions of artists has been set up to produce recommendations ; the Spanish Presidency of the Council made it a topic of debate at their informal meeting of Culture Ministers in Cacéres; and finally, last November the European Parliament voted in favor of a resolution with recommendations on a “EU framework for the social and professional situation of artists and workers in the cultural and creative sectors”. 

By organizing a seminar on the topic as part of its Presidency, Belgium wishes to keep this debate on the agenda and to contribute to the discussions on how to improve together, policymakers and the cultural sector, the working conditions of artists and cultural professionals.