5.1.4 Social security frameworks
The status of free-lance artists is regulated by the Law on the Rights of Self-employed Artists. According to the Law, these artists are entitled to health, pension and disability insurance, which are paid by the municipalities. Freelance artists are usually organised in different professional arts associations, which keep a register of their status. As of 2010, the Law had not yet been put into force and free-lance artists continue to be treated as any other self-employed professionals. This constantly provokes protests and revolt from art associations.
This situation was planned to be changed, following the implementation of the new Law on Culture. The Ministry is planning to put sub-laws into the parliamentary procedure, with one of the sub-laws redefining relations with self-employed artists, but the Parliament had higher priorities in 2010-2012, concerning the requirements of the EU integration processes (more in chapter 5.2). However, by 2014 this situation hadn't changed and the status of freelance artists is dependent upon local authorities, the association they belong to or art field they are in.
The register of freelance artists is administered by different professional artist unions. During the reign of Slobodan Milošević (1989-2000), many artists left the "official" artist unions and created new, parallel ones. Therefore there were three writers' unions, two publishers' unions, etc., which is creating a problem regarding the registering of freelance artists. Through the open call in 2011, the Ministry of Culture has chosen 31 unions and associations to represent the different fields of arts and culture, which is a good step towards a more systematic approach to the rebuilding of the sociocultural cycles in every sector of culture. This could mean more clear roles and responsibilities for the unions and associations, as well as better and stronger relations with the Ministry of Culture, but also a systematic monitoring of their work.
See also comparative information provided in the Compendium "Themes!" section under "Status of Artists".