Umbrella Company employees and other freelancers from Europe’s professional contracting community will be hard to ignore at a European level, thanks to the European Freelancers’ Movement (EFM). The movement’s representatives arrived at the European parliament on 25th September to deliver a manifesto signed by almost 7,000 freelance professionals from 29 European countries.
The EFM’s campaign has the backing of the European Forum of Independent Professionals (EFIP), a Europe-wide partnership of associations representing the continent’s nine million independent professionals (defined as highly-skilled independent workers without employers or employees).
The manifesto arrives at the European parliament just ahead of the commissioner’s hearing and calls for MEPs to implement five key demands: recognise the legal status of freelancers, who are the most rapidly expanding segment of the entire European labour market, and provide access to four fundamental resources from which they are too often excluded:
- Business support services.
- Public procurement contracts.
- Training programmes.
The EFM’s campaign manager, Joel Dullroy, said that despite freelancers constituting the fastest-growing part of the European workforce, they have to date been ignored and isolated and are now telling European policymakers that they should be taken seriously.
Receiving the manifesto, Liberal Democrat MEP Catherine Bearder said: “Too often, the concerns of self-employed and freelance workers in Europe are not taken into account when important decisions are made. I am calling on the European Commission and national governments to make sure that self-employed workers are properly consulted and are able to fully participate in the relevant EU programmes and funding streams.”
The petition can be signed by UK freelancers here: http://freelancers-europe.org/.