Thousands of freelancers have signed an EU-wide campaign calling for decision makers to recognize and back the independent labor market, in what they claim represents a clear message to the new European Parliament.
The manifesto calls on decision makers to recognize the rise in the number of people choosing to work for themselves as a fundamental change in working patterns, and urges support for their economic contributions.
Joel Dullroy, the Berlin-based freelancer who set up the campaign, commented: “This sends a clear message to the new European Parliament that they must do more for this important and flourishing sector.”
According to the manifesto, freelancers and independent professionals are a growing and vital part of the European workforce and economy. Politicians at all levels of government need to understand and address this important demographic.
Following the 2014 European Parliament elections (held May 22), the freelancers of Europe are calling on governments and businesses to:
- Recognize freelancers by giving them official status at all levels of government and bureaucracy.
- Make sure freelancers can access all government services, bid for official contracts, access training programs and qualify for funding.
- Include freelancers in all official statistics — not just consider freelancers in the same category as small businesses.
- Talk to the representative organizations and appoint an EU freelancers’ envoy.
- Treat freelancers fairly; including on-time payments and written contracts to ensure they are treated ethically.
The petition has garnered 4,124 signatures as of this writing. The vast majority are from Germany (1,044), followed by Croatia (946), and Italy (753). The organizers need 10,000 signatures before they can submit their petition for consideration to the European Parliament.