Dear Smart community!
Almost 100.000 artists, creatives and feelancers are working with Smart in nine European countries, most of them in Belgium and France. Smart Austria represents more than 1.000 users. Most of them are severely affected by the current crisis. Some countries, such as Austria, have issued emergency fonds and taken support measures that are lacking elsewhere. Workers with project-based, short-term and frequently changing employments run the risk of not being eligible to apply at all.
As a network of European cooperatives that are based on solidarity and shared economy, Smart wants to make a joint effort in this time of crisis to bring as much stability, security and predictability into the life and work realities of those who are confronted with a crisis-induced loss of income through the cancellation or postponing of projects and contracts.
This joint statement is the starting point for the development of a solidarity plan beyond the national borders. The Smart network also wants to bring to attention the high numbers of freelancers with complex forms of employment that are currently lacking adequate support in many European countries.
An ambitious solidarity project: Smart launches the Corona Plan
The following text is a shared statement by Smart in Europe.
Throughout Europe, Smart has noted a decrease in the activity of its members by 10% in February, and it’s projected to decrease by 75% in April. This equates to over 90,000 working days lost by several thousand workers across the Smart community. Faced with a crisis of an unprecedented size and nature, Smart wants to launch an ambitious solidarity system: the Corona Plan intends to offer a response to members’ canceled activities caused by the crisis (support measures) as well as actions to promote a post‐crisis recovery (recovery measures) so that members have the assets to re‐establish their activities.
Smart is looking at ways to compensate members who have had activities canceled due to the Covid‐19 emergency. This applies to activities managed by Smart which have been canceled after a contract has been signed and where you can show evidence that a contract was about to be signed. Smart is also looking at ways to compensate members for business expenses and other costs connected to canceled activities.
Smart is also planning additional help for members living in the areas most affected by the pandemic.
Smart has started assessing the impact on members and the extent and nature of support measures by the respective governments in order to define Smart’s response and to draw attention to possible gaps in public measures. Smart will inform its members about support measures offered by national governments and will work with partners to lobby authorities at a local, national and European level to make sure that everyone is taken into account in policymaking. Nobody should be forgotten.
Smart also intends to offer support for the recovery of economic activities as soon as the situation will start improving and will consist of:
- Efforts to resume activities through financing mechanisms (investment in equipment, marketing, etc.)
- Advice and training for members
Smart will do its best to continue facilitating forms of mutual assistance and help between members.
The Corona Plan will include possibilities for strengthening collaboration with public and private institutions, clients and other partners to share resources and knowledge.
Smart intends to engage in a broad collective reflection on new economic, commercial and redistributive models, as well as on a form of worker protection that goes beyond their contractual framework. Together, we can seize this opportunity to come up with solutions and concrete policies inspired by cooperation and solidarity.
We anticipate that the scope of these measures shall be limited by both our own resources and those of other actors, and the magnitude of the crisis. Smart will keep you updated on the details of the plan’s implementation, calling upon all members, partners, clients, organizations and people interested in the Smart ecosystem to follow the development of the Corona Plan on the blog kronik.smart.coop.
Stay home. Save people. Protect workers.
Together, we are stronger.