The French concert industry is taking legal action to prevent plans by interior minister George Collomb to charge events for the cost of policing
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The French State Council have announced changes to the controversial Collomb circular, in a move that fails to satisfy industry demands
By Anna Grace on 09 Jan 2020
French industry association Prodiss and trade union SMA have deemed the State Council’s recent changes to the controversial Collomb circular as “very partial”, saying they will continue to “defend the sector against the directive”.
Proposed by former interior minister Gérard Collomb in May 2018, the so-called Collomb circular (circulaire Collomb) saw organisers pay the government for the deployment of police at live events, except in the case of terrorist-related incidents.
The idea was met with incredulity across most of the industry, with many citing a drastic increase to security bills as a result.
Under the new changes, organisers no longer have to pay a deposit – equalling 60% to 80% of the total security cost – when agreeing a contract with the state. The annulment also removes a deadline that obliged organisers to complete their payment within a month of an event’s conclusion.
An additional change dictates that an agreement must be signed between organisers and the government in advance of an event, if any law enforcement is to be deployed and billed for.
“Safety is a sovereign matter that should not be dealt with by the organiser of festivals and shows alone”
Although Prodiss and SMA, who took legal action to revoke the circular in 2018, call the partial annulment “a first step against the injustice of the circular”, they state that the key issue of organisers reimbursing the state for security costs has not been called into question.
“Event owners will continue to single handedly bear the costs of all police intervention that is directly associated with their events,” reads a statement from Prodiss and SMA.
“For professionals, safety is a sovereign matter that should not be dealt with by the organisers of festivals and shows alone,” continues the statement. “Our organisations will continue to fight to defend the sector against this directive that weakens its entire cultural and artistic ecosystem.”
The changes to the circular come following the French government’s creation of a new decree last year, which provided funding for security enforcement at live events. The law failed to appease Prodiss and SMA, with event organisers only being spared costs in the case of “exceptional circumstances”.
Photo: Arthur Empereur/Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0) (cropped)
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