The European Parliament has called for better job protection for singers, musicians and songwriters across Europe.

The Parliament's Culture Committee voted Monday for the introduction of a special electronic social security card for artists, who are seen as more mobile and more vulnerable to bureaucracy.

The committee unanimously backed a report drafted by French Liberal Claire Gibault, who said that many artists in Europe have faced problems when trying to perform in other countries, or trying to transfer their social rights. But at the same time, international co-productions of live performances or audiovisual productions have been increasing the mobility of many artists, and thus raising calls for a clearer legal status for the European artists.

The report noted that some EU countries denied artists legal status. There is an additional issue of artists being unaware of their rights, and the committee urged the Commission - the EU's executive authority - to draw up a practical handbook for European artists, where they can find information about sickness insurance, unemployment benefits and similar issues. The committee also asked the Commission to launch a pilot project introducing a European electronic social security card, specifically intended for artists.

The committee also called for visas and work permits to be granted more easily for non-EU performers, and asked the Commission to introduce temporary visas for visiting artists.