The final event bringing the Behind the Stage project to a close was inevitably coloured by the impact of COVID-19 on the sector and the hugely serious consequences the sudden halt in activity has had, and is having, on live performance in Europe.
Today’s final online conference opened in the spirit of the project (of keeping its delegates informed on the latest developments in EU Legislation) with a practical Academy workshop on the intricacies of the revised EU posting of workers directive.
The main body of the conference was devoted almost entirely to dealing with the devastating effects of COVID-19 on live performance organisations, from the need to urgently address the financial impact on organisations and in particular freelancers or how to help audiences regain their confidence to return to theatre and concert venues.
Discussions were further enriched by the presence of specialist organisations and Pearle*’s social partners. Kristine Krivmane, Team Leader of the EC Social Dialogue Unit – DG Employment joined the meeting to outline the initiatives the EU is planning to re-activate the European economy and stressed the need for social partners to contribute with their ideas and pledges. Christian Welz, senior research manager at Eurofound (European Agency for Living and Working Conditions) also joined the conference to present the results of the Agency´s new report “capacity-building for effective social dialogue”.
And in keeping with the ethos established by Behind the Stage, Pearle* also invited the representatives of the live performance trade union federations (FIM, FIA and Uni-Mei) to attend for an informal discussion, along the same lines as a previous informal encounter that had taken place in Plovdiv, Bulgaria, in May 2019 also in the context of the Behind the Stage project.
Focusing on the issues that need to be dealt with most urgently to overcome the effects of the crisis as well as ways to work together to steer the sector through the storm, the conversation was characterised by a sense of mutual trust and represents a step forward in improving the quality and extending the scope of industrial relations in the live performance sector.
The Behind the Stage project is funded by the European Union.