Text topic: Comparative Situation Analyses
Text author: Славица Вучетић
Employment policies for the cultural sector are, naturally, the intrinsic part of the status of the artists. They can be both restrictive and stimulating instruments for cultural bloom of any country. Employment policies require good integration of several policy areas, namely economics, social affairs, health and labor. That makes them an extremely complex and interesting issue for discussion. During the 21th general conference of UNESCO in Belgrade (1980), a list of Recommendations concerning the Status of the Artist was set up, which stressed that „(artists’) conditions of work and of employment should be such as to provide opportunities for artists who so wish to devote themselves fully to their artistic activities.“ However, in practice, different countries have taken with different seriousness all the measures proposed, which has resulted in numerous and qualitatively different methods of regulation of the artists’ status. The aim of this paper is to show how too affirmative employment policy which aims at providing secure jobs for an array of employees can lead toward stagnation of the whole sector, as well as how too restrictive and generalized employment measures and abandonment to free market forces can increase unemployment. Comparing the employment policies for the cultural sector of two EU and two non-EU countries, this paper discusses advantages and disadvantages of all four policy models and designs a cultural policy proposal for each of them. The research carried out in January 2010 showed that the UK and Finland have more developed employment policies and more entrepreneurial cultural workforce than Serbia and Russia, which still struggle with transitional circumstances. However, each state lacks consideration for the specific work conditions of certain artistic occupations, primarily the status of self-employed artists. Policy proposals are, thus, created according to the specific needs of their cultural sectors and examples of good practices of other European countries.