Philipp Hentschel
by Philipp Hentschel

Freelancer vs. Politics

Freelancers all over the world come together to fight for their objectives with a united voice. Here’s an overview of the most important groups and organizations:

Freelancers and young entrepreneurs contribute a great share to the overall turnover of the creative industry in Europe. Still, politics and society often make important decisions without involving them. A number of prolific organizations and collectives are about to change that.

The VGSD in Germany

You’ve probably never heard of the VGSD. The young organization of freelancers and other self-employed professionals aims to further the rights of the independent professional community. The website offers information on interesting topics, podcasts, as well as an overview of local meet-ups all over the country. The VGSD became known to a wider audience with their successful petition against a compulsory retirement fee that Minister Ursula von der Leyen had been planning. The organization‘s main objective is creating a strong lobby for founders and freelancers to influence political decision-making in favour of the independent professional community in Germany.

EFIP – the European Organization

The VGSD is only one of many groups in Europe dedicated to empowering freelancers in their respective countries. The European Forum of Independent Professionals (EFIP) is an umbrella organization with French, Dutch, British and other EU groups among its members. It is particularly active in Brussels, acting as a united European voice advocating the value of startups and freelance work for the European economy and raising awareness for the needs of the community of independent professionals.

Freelancers Movement – A Campaign of Freelancers in Europe

The "Freelancers Movement" is a concerted political campaign of the various European freelancer organizations. Concept and implementation is steered from Berlin. By July 2014 the Movement already had over 5.000 supporters – an important milestone on the road to forming a united voice for the rights of independent professionals.

The campaign aims to collect at least 10.000 signatures in support of the key manifest. Developed by the community, it outlines the movement’s main objectives. The key points highlight the necessity for greater recognition and respect:

  • For political recognition of freelancers!
  • Give us Access!
  • Count us!
  • Give us a Voice!
  • Treat us fairly!

The campaign is dependent on its supporters and their efforts to spread the word via social media. Every voice counts. Apart from thousands of individuals an international network of coworking spaces also supports the Freelancers Movement. New and traditional media as well as international web-platforms such as Designerdock, AirBnB or Dawanda attract new supporters to the cause every day.

Freelancers Union – How it’s done in the USA

The US-American Freelancers Union has been around a good while longer than its European counterpart. On their website freelancers can find vital information. They help freelancers find the right health insurance and pension fund. Their freelancer database provides a great opportunity for networking. With over 24.000 members the Freelancers Union is the world’s biggest organization of independent professionals.

Get involved

If you are a freelancer, take a look at the Freelancers Movement website and support the manifest. Help us to become more visible in the political sphere and to speak for our rights with one voice. For national rules and regulation concerning independent professionals you can always go to the VGSD’s website. Their newsletter is free while membership doesn’t cost a lot, making the VGSD a great source to keep informed on all things freelance.

Feel free to get in touch with us if you have any questions concerning the Freelancers Movement. We are part of the team and are happy to take an active part in creating a better future for independent professionals.