The economic and social situation of the self-employed in the EU -
What needs to be done now
Self-employed and micro-enterprises are part of the backbone of our economic system in the European Union. In Germany alone, about 80% of all companies are small businesses, i.e. companies with up to 10 employees. Their annual turnover is around 500 billion euros.
During the Corona crisis, self-employed and micro-enterprises that had to cease or severely restrict their business operations received subsidies as bridging aid. The so-called restart assistance was an attempt to take account of the special situation of solo self-employed persons. These measures will be continued until mid-2022.
The pandemic clearly shows that although the self-employed basically have more professional autonomy than employees, they are exposed to comparatively higher income risks. Added to this are the structural problems with unemployment insurance and old age regeulations that have existed for decades.
The new German government has recognized the need for action. Therefore, in the new coalition agreement is provided to improve the social policy framework for the self-employed. In some Member States, such as Austria and Spain, these measures have already been in place for a long time.
At European level, too, new initiatives have been launched by the European Commission as part of the European Pillar of Social Rights. For example, most recently a draft Directive to improve the position of employees in platform companies.
We would like to discuss this with you and our speakers and focus on the following questions, which are highly topical because of the measures mentioned in the coalition agreement: