With European elections coming up in May 2019, you probably want to know how the European Union impacts your daily life, before you think about voting. In the latest in a series of posts on what Europe does for you, your family, your business and your wellbeing, we look at what Europe does for freelancers.
Are you a highly-skilled professional, who would rather work for clients on specific projects than have a fixed job? If you have a flair for innovation and are ready to take business risks to gain greater independence and flexibility, why not freelance? You may be surprised to learn that more and more EU citizens are seeking freelancing careers. Freelancing spans many professions, including newly emerging ones, and accounts for the fastest growing segment in the EU labour market. Possibly you are hesitating for fear of failure, red tape, financial concerns, or doubts about your skill set.
The EU is there to help. Its Entrepreneurship 2020 action plan aims to spark the EU’s entrepreneurial spirit, and a number of programmes and initiatives promote education, ease of access to finance and simpler for aspiring entrepreneurs. While the Erasmus+ programme offers education opportunities, the European Innovation Council, and the SME Instrument in particular, offer funds and mentoring services for innovators. As well as financing micro-entrepreneurs, the EU Programme for Employment and Social Innovation supports the development of appropriate social protection systems and labour market policies.
The European Court of Justice recently ruled that an EU citizen, self-employed in another EU Member State, can retain their right to reside if they become unemployed. Meanwhile, as recently proclaimed in the European Pillar of social rights, the EU is striving to ensure fair working conditions and adequate social protection for all.
- European Commission website on promoting entrepreneurship, https://ec.europa.eu/growth/smes/promoting-entrepreneurship_en
- European Commission website on the Entrepreneurship 2020 Action Plan, https://ec.europa.eu/growth/smes/promoting-entrepreneurship/action-plan_en