Legislation and regulations that affect business very often originate in Brussels.  That is why IPSE, as the trade association that represents the UK’s very smallest businesses, has become increasingly active in Europe in recent years.
As with the UK, freelancing is frequently misunderstood in the EU.  IPSE want to change that and have been working hard to promote the value of freelancing to decision makers in Brussels.  Much of this work is done via our partner organisation – the European Forum of Independent Professionals (EFIP)
Co-founded in 2010 by IPSE, EFIP is a collaboration of national associations which represent freelancers, or independent professionals, at EU level through targeted research and advocacy.  EFIP is a not-for-profit organisation that is not affiliated to any political party. Our mission is to promote the value of independents to the European and national economies and to ensure that independent working is respected as a legitimate alternative to employment.
Consisting of representatives from across Europe, including Germany, France, the Netherlands, Italy, Belgium, Ireland and the UK, EFIP seeks to enhance the work of national organisations already representing independent professionals.
EFIP has recently commissioned a ground breaking report into independent working across Europe.  Launched at the European Parliament, the report shows the number of freelancers has risen by 82% since 2000.  The full report can be seen on the EFIP website
In addition to its work with EFIP, IPSE is also a member of the European Small Business Alliance (ESBA).  This influential organisation represents small business entrepreneurs and the self-employed through targeted EU advocacy and profiling activities.  Most importantly, they take a particular interest in micro businesses.  IPSE continue to work with ESBA to ensure that senior politicians and officials in Brussels understand the economic contribution that small and micro businesses make to the EU and to individual member states.
Along with both EFIP and ESBA, IPSE will be working on further projects over the coming months that will promote the value of freelancing across Europe and help decision makers to understand the importance of the rapidly expanding sector of the labour market.