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European Sectoral Social Dialogue - Live Performance

European social partners in the live performance sector jointly address governments to promote national social dialogue in Southern Europe

European social partners in the live performance sector met in Dubrovnik, Croatia on the 26-27 February 2010 to take stock of social dialogue in 12 countries of Southern Europe. The conference organised by the European Arts and Entertainment Alliance, EAEA and PEARLE, the European association of live performance employers, brought together over 70 union, employer and government representatives.

The conference took place in the framework of a project funded by the European Commission, which aimed at promoting national social dialogue in Southern Europe. The project also produced a report on the state of social dialogue in live performance based on interviews carried out in 12 countries (Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, France, Greece, Italy, FYROM, Malta, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Turkey). Its aim is to find out how workers and employers are organised in the twelve selected countries and how social dialogue in the performing arts sector functions. It contains some preliminary overall conclusions followed by twelve country profiles, in order to give more detailed information about the situation in each country. A draft report was presented at the conference and has now been finalised. You can download it here below.

Participants at the conference exchanged views on the challenges for the life performance sector in the midst of a global financial crisis. Employer and union representatives alike underlined that in the present economic context, the financing of the performing arts must be guaranteed to provide for a genuine and sustainable environment for the sector and boost further growth and employment. The sector must be included in the economic recovery plans, speakers stressed.

In their final declaration European social partners called on the European Union to encourage governments to create favourable conditions for an autonomous bi-lateral social dialogue in the countries of Southern Europe and urged national governments to encourage and allow management and labour to organise, in particular as regards employers’ in the public live performance sector and freelance/self-employed workers.

You can download the final joint statement and the final project report below.

Final Joint Statement Dubrovnik Position Conjointe Finale Dubrovnik Final Joint Statement Dubrovnik - Spanish Final Report on Social Dialogue in Southern Europe

European Sectoral Social Dialogue - Live Performance

Sectoral Social Dialogue at European Level: a brief introduction

For about ten years, FIA has been involved in sectoral social dialogue at European level. Sectoral social dialogue is an instrument of EU social policy and industrial relations at sectoral level. It consists of negotiations between the European trade union and employer organisations of a specific sector of the economy. The conditions are set out in Commission decision 98/500/EC of May 20 1998 for consultation and dialogue between employer and employee representatives in specialised committees. Committees generally meet five or six times a year, and a plenary session is held twice a year.

The Commission, in its Communication on ‘The European social dialogue, a force for innovation and change’, expressed the view that the sectoral level ‘is the proper level for discussion on many issues linked to employment, such as working conditions, vocational training and industrial change, the knowledge society, demographic patterns, enlargement and globalisation’ (COM (2002) 341 final of 26 June 2002). FIA has indeed found that many of these issues can be very usefully addressed at European level, as well as other specific themes such as health and safety, anti-discrimination and equal opportunities.

The sectoral social dialogue committees are established with due regard for the autonomy of the social partners. The social partner organisations must apply jointly to the European Commission in order to take part in a social dialogue at European level. The European organisations representing employers and workers must, when submitting this application, meet a number of criteria:

  • relate to specific sectors or categories, and be organized at European level
  • consist of organizations which are themselves an integral and recognized part of Member State's social partner structures, and have the capacity to negotiate agreements, and which are representative of several Member States
  • have adequate structures to ensure their effective participation in the work of the committees

Through this process, social partners have reached a large number of autonomous agreements at the European level which they implement themselves, while others have been transformed into binding legislation.

FIA is involved in the European sectoral social dialogue through two sectoral social dialogue committees: the “Live performance” committee and the “Audiovisual” committee. There are more details on the members, key achievements and the ongoing work of these committees in the dedicated sections below.

More details

European Commission website provides useful and very detailed information about the work of the European sectoral social dialogue committees.


Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee on Live Performance

The Live Performance Committee deals with any matter related with artistic and literary creation, interpretation, operation of arts facilities, fair and amusement parks and other entertainment activities characterized by a direct contact with the public. Some of the main topics of discussion in the European sectoral social dialogue committee on Live Performance are: participation of new member States, mobility of cultural workers, theatre technicians training, health and safety and cultural policies and economy. You can download the 2009 work programme below.

The membership of the Committee is as follows:

Workers’ Organisations


Employers’ Organisation


International Federation of Actors (FIA)


International Federation of Musicians (FIM)


Performing Arts Employers Associations League Europe (PEARLE*)


UNI MEI - Global Union for media, entertainment, arts and sports.



Achievements and work programme:

The social partners signed a joint declaration in May 2000 on lifelong learning. They have undertaken a series of projects on job creation and promotion, developing the social dialogue in the new Member States and candidate countries and on training of theatre technicians.

More recently, the European social partners on “Live performance” adopted a joint statement on the financial crisis (available to download on the FIA website). This statementhighlightsthedeep concerns of the sector in light of the current financial crisis and calls upon the UE and the Members States to adopt regulations to sustain and preserve employment and investments in the live performance sector. They have also successfully applied for project funding to develop and promote social dialogue structures in Southern Europe, including some accession countries (you can download the work programme below).

They have also recently set up a working group on risk assessment which will be examining experience and good practice in the sector to explore the possibility of developing a Sectoral Interactive Risk Assessment Tool, as is being promoted by the Bilbao Agency on Occupational Health and Safety. The committee is also active within the civil society cultural platforms within the Open Method of Coordination on culture and seeks to highlight the role and value of social dialogue within these structures also. The committee has had some preliminary exchanges on creativity and innovation and may also issue a joint statement within the framework of the 2009 European Year on Creativity and innovation.

To access the documents of the committees please also consult the “circa” homepage of the European Commission: http://circa.europa.eu/Public/irc/empl/sectoral_social_dialogue/library

Would you like to get involved?

Participation in the meetings of the social dialogue committee is facilitated by the European Commission, which covers travel and accommodation expenses for members coming from EU members states. We would remind our European members that they are welcome to get involved in the work of the committees and indeed, we warmly invite them to do so. Any member wishing to get involved should contact the FIA secretariat.

Work Programme Live Performance Committee 2009