#WeAreLive: Umbrella group petitions EU for help
#WeAreLive, a coalition of event industry associations in more than a dozen northern European countries, has lodged a petition with the European Parliament to ask for “urgent measures” to save millions of jobs continent-wide.
The organisation – whose membership comprises industry associations in Poland, Germany, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Finland, Sweden, Norway, Croatia, Slovenia, the Czech Republic, Serbia and Russia – is demanding grants equivalent to 75% of companies’ fixed costs, along with the extension of existing loans, the suspension of existing EU aid framework (whose limitations, #WeAreLive says, prevent “real help for hard-hit” companies) and for EU officials to enter into real “rescue dialogue” with the events sector.
With members including the International Live Events Association Europe (Germany), Polish Event Industry Association, Sponsorship and Event Association (Norway) and Event Industry Association of Lithuania, #WeAreLive represents over 20,000 companies with more than 500,000 employees and 200,000 apprentices.
In total, the organisation says, the events sector is the 13th largest industry in Europe, generating €172.6 billion in direct GDP and supporting 2.9 million jobs.
“Governments should be looking for drivers like events to grow the economy”
In the petition, the full text of which can be read here, the associations say the live events sector must “be recognised by national and regional governments for its value now, and not in hindsight, after we are beyond saving from the outcome of Covid-19”.
“At times like this, when the recovery is so critical to our organisations, our society and our economy overall, the power of events is something that can be central in reaching this goal,” it continues. “Governments should be looking for drivers like this that grow the economy.”
The petition further urges that events is treated as an industry in its own right, rather than bundled in with culture, tourism or foreign affairs. “This [current] disunity condemns us to the lack of common solutions, help and strategies for the development of the industry at an European level,” it reads.
Dolors Montserrat, chair of the EU’s committee, has already confirmed the #WeAreLive petition is “admissible” and will be considered by the European Commission on a preliminary basis. However, it needs 200,000 signatures by EU citizens to ensure it is accepted by and debated in the European Parliament.
To sign the petition now, click here.
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