The Association of Visual Artists in Portugal (AAVP) considered that the status of the artist is “far from complete” and that solutions for the sector are not considered in the document that the government intends to approve on April 22nd become.
In a statement published on Sunday, the association is responding to Prime Minister António Costa’s announcement in Parliament on Wednesday that “the statute of cultural professionals will be adopted in a thematic Council of Ministers on Culture, which will take place on April 22nd”.
AAVP “is very concerned and, after months of intensive bilateral work, in which several organizations have contributed with contributions and proposals, it is premature that this is the result of the negotiations,” he stressed.
For the association, “the work of the Commission, which has made important progress, is far from over. It offers solutions that ensure effective social protection for all professionals involved in the culture and organization of industrial relations, which is essential to end the widespread uncertainty in the Commission the sector “.
“The situation is particularly alarming for visual artists, since their peculiarities are not yet included in the solutions to be discussed,” he also claims.
The AAVP announces that it is currently awaiting clarification from the Ministry of Culture on the matter and has scheduled a meeting this week with the General Directorate of Arts “which was ready to review the access of visual artists to competitions for the arts” . .
“However, the fundamental part of the statute of cultural workers must be presented so that it can be analyzed and discussed by all organizations before it is approved by the Council of Ministers. And if this is not the case, the promised space for dialogue will be broken and has deserved everyone’s attention and commitment over the past few months, ”he argues.
Following the Prime Minister’s statements, there have been reactions from other organizations representing cultural operators, namely the Civic Platform Convergence for Culture, which believed that the date announced by the government to approve the status of cultural practitioner “reveals enormous political ignorance about culture Realities ”.
The cooperation was also “at a loss” in the face of António Costa’s announcement, as the government is accelerating the completion of the statute and claims that the necessary conditions for approval in the statute in the Council of Ministers on April 22nd are not met.
“Given the complexity of the statute currently being drafted, the number of bodies representing the sector in the dialogue with very different views seeking harmonization and – perhaps the most serious of all – the current situation which is very far from is removed from an initial wording that reflects the meaning of what this is about, ”argued the structure that took part in the discussion with the guide.
The working group, which met for the first time on June 6th last year, consists of representatives from the Ministries for Culture, Social Security and Finance, the General Directorate for Art (DGArtes) and the General Directorate for Books. Archives and Libraries (DGLAB), the Cinema and Audiovisual Institute (ICA), the General Directorate for Social Security, the Working Conditions Authority and the Tax and Customs Authority.
The group also includes several associations that represent the various cultural areas, including the GDA Foundation, the Portuguese Society of Authors (SPA), the Union of Performing Arts, Audiovisual Artists and Musicians (CENA-STE), Plateia, Performart, Speech and the Portuguese Directors Association (APR).
On May 25, the Minister of Culture Graça Fonseca undertook to complete the so-called “intermittent statute” by the end of last year. In the meantime, he repeated this commitment several times, but the companies that represented the sector made it public several times that they preferred to have more time.
The plenary sessions closed in December last year, but the bilateral ones continued, which should not end until the proposal was finalized.
The statute was divided into three main themes: professional registration, employment and contribution rules, the third being considered the most important of several points still to be discussed.
The State Budget (OE) for 2021 contains the approval for the creation of the statute, which “is valid for the financial year”. This means that the statute has to be drawn up by the end of this year.
In the draft law for the major options of the 2021 plan, approved by the Council of Ministers in September, it was already stated that the specialized statute in the field of culture would be “reviewed and implemented” in 2021.