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Greek MEP Alexis Georgoulis Defends Arts, Culture in Europe

Alexis Georgoulis
Alexis Georgoulis is a champion for artists and workers in the culture sector in his position in the European Parliament. Credit: Alexis Georgoulis

Greek Member of the European Parliament Alexis Georgoulis has secured the passing of a resolution in the Culture Committee of the European Parliament which seeks to defend working conditions for all artists in the EU.

The popular Greek actor turned politician is at the forefront of efforts as a member of the European Parliament to promote common EU approaches to culture and heritage.

He said that by 2020, the EU’s cultural and creative sectors had lost more than 30 percent of their profits, totaling €199 billion – with the music and arts sectors suffering losses of 75 percent and 90 percent respectively.

Georgoulis, elected with the SYRIZA party, put forward 57 amendments on the “Situation of Artists in the EU” bill, which proposes a common European framework for working conditions and minimum standards for all EU countries.

The main points of the resolution for the protection of artists and workers in culture, which will be voted upon by the European Assembly in October, include:

  • creating a minimum common framework for the labor and insurance rights of artists and workers in the cultural sector.
  • enhancing the cross-border mobility of artists, with an emphasis on specific programs for the mobility of young creators and artists.
  • protecting revenue of copyright from streaming platforms, calling on the Commission to ensure the protection of the work of authors in national copyright legislation.
  • defending artistic freedom and freedom of expression in all EU member states.
  • developing up-to-date statistics on culture, with a view to creating a long-term and sustainable policy for the culture and creative sectors.

Georgoulis, who was elected to the European Parliament in 2019, and is now a member of the European Parliament’s Committee on Culture and Education, also underlined the need for further financial support for the culture and creative sectors.

He pointed out artists and workers in Europe’s cultural sector have been particularly badly hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Georgoulis honored with ADEPI 2021 award

Georgoulis honored by ADEPI 2021 Award

Earlier in September, Georgoulis was among MEP’s who received a prestigious international award in recognition of their efforts for the protection of copyrights in the art world.

The Association for the Development of Intellectual Property Award (ADEPI) honored the efforts of the Friendship Group of Cultural Creators of the European Parliament, of which  Georgoulis is a founding member.

The award ceremony took place in Spain, presided over by the country’s Minister of Culture and Sports, Miquel Iceta. The award was received on behalf of the Friendship Group of Cultural Creators by MEPs Alexis Georgoulis and Ibán García del Blanco.

Georgoulis called for the immediate application of Article 18 of the European Directive 790/2019. This article stipulates that electronic platforms whose content includes works by creators and artists must pay them due and proportionate remuneration.

The Greek MEP says that the Directive should have been adopted by all EU member states by June. However, as he points out, only eight so far have done so — and Greece is not amongst them.

“The need to implement this Directive is even more pressing after the blow that the pandemic brought to the art world,” Georgoulis said.

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