A joint declaration on the Corona plan by Smart in Europe

The Corona plan

Throughout Europe, Smart is a reality made of about forty offices located in nine different countries – we often say “territories” instead of “countries” to refer more genuinely to the realities and the communities in place.

Belgium and France, where Smart was initiated 22 and 12 years ago, still host the largest economic realities. However, other have developed since a few years and operate as legally independent enterprises inspired from the initial model.

The following is a tale of the process that led to the joint declaration of a “Corona plan” by Smart country offices in Europe that I had the pleasure to witness.

April 1st: In the afternoon, a press conference is organized by the Cooperative Smart in Belgium and France, in order to present the Corona Plan and to call for enhanced policy response by Governments (the previous presentation of the plan, made two weeks earlier had remained without official response).
The press conference (here on Youtube) was also followed live by all the Smart international partners, who had previously read the contents of the Corona Plan published on the Smart website (here in French).

At the end of this conference, a first version of the Plan was drafted at the initiative of the office in Milan, who had been witnessing the effects of COVID-19 and of measures adopted by Government on its members since a few weeks already.

April 2 : a final version of the document is written, taking into account the observations of each other Smart entity, under the pen of the office of Berlin.

April 3: the final document, in English, is published on the “Smart International COVID” intranet.

In the afternoon the announcement of “An ambitious solidarity project: Smart launches the Corona Plan” is published by various Smart offices in Europe and disseminated through their respective website and social communication channels.

The different linguistic versions of the document and its flavours of implementing measures further adopted by each Smart are to be found here:

Milano, Roma :

Un ambizioso progetto solidale: Smart lancia il “Plan Corona”

Madrid, Barcelona, Sevilla, Granada :

Smart lanza el ambicioso y solidario plan frente a la Crisis …

Berlin :

Eine solidarische Antwort auf die Krise: die Smart-Genossenschaft für Selbstständige startet den internationalen Corona-Plan

Vienna :

An ambitious solidarity project: Smart launches the Corona Plan


Announcement (April 6) of the Smart Corona on Smart Sweden’s Facebook (and homepage)

Budapest :

An ambitious solidarity project: Smart launches the Corona Plan – The following text is a shared statement by Smart in Europe

The whole involvement of Smart in the process does not start nor finishes here:

  • Although the timeline above starts with the Press conference held on the 1st of April, signals of the impact suffered by members due to the measures of containment imposed by Government started to be noticed earlier: first in Italy, then in Spain and in Germany and in other countries. We like to think that, beyond the size of individual entities, these contributed to provide some sense and  design the concrete measures of response further adopted by Smart
  • Surveys aimed at better understanding and monitoring the local situation, including existing forms of support accessible to members are still on-going at the time this article is being written, as part of the advisory function implemented by Smart throughout Europe (more on this soon to be published in Kronik).

To conclude, I like to see the adoption of that document as a sign of a vision shared across borders.

Will it hold beyond intentions? Sure the implementation of the plan will have to adapt to each territorial reality and, given our own capacity and the magnitude of the crisis, additional support will have to be sought locally to implement the needed measures of support and rehabilitation.

Through the Plan, Smart firmly intends to continue:

  • facilitating forms of mutual assistance between members, seeking enhanced forms of collaboration with public and private institutions, clients and other partners;
  • sharing resources and knowledge, engaging in a broad collective reflection on new economic, commercial and redistributive models, as well as on forms of workers’ protection that go beyond their contractual framework.

so that, together, we can come up with effective solutions and concrete policies inspired by cooperation and solidarity at an international level – in Europe and beyond.

Of course time will tell: in the meantime together we feel (and are) stronger.

5 replies on “A joint declaration on the Corona plan by Smart in Europe”

Indeed time pressures to lobby at EU level, what are your next plans pls vis à vis the structural funds implications, the discussions on EU Budget right now and the EIB support for creatives, technicians & arts-craft people?
Thx Take care
#keepsafe #SmartVibes
M-Laure Lulé
EU Expert

Hello M-Laure,

Thanks for asking.

At EU level: lately some colleagues of mine have been focusing on the “EU social pillar” debate : that is part of our advocacy for a (universal) access to social protection for all freelancers (formerly dubbed as “Smart 2020”).

We see that as a necessity to be addressed both at national and international levels since many of the aspects are matters of shared competence with the Member States.

Actually I personally must confess that I have lost sight on how discussions on the Multi-annual Financial Framework (2021-2027) are faring in these COVID times …

Meanwhile, I hope we will be able to communicate more about what we are doing in a few countries of the EU very soon (around here)…

– Happy 1st of May !

J’espère que la nouvelle année a bien commencé.
J’ai fait une demande d’aide sociale il y a quelques semaines à l’adresse suivante : solidarity@smart.coop mais je n’ai reçu aucune confirmation
Pourriez-vous me faire savoir si ce service est toujours disponible et si l’adresse à laquelle envoyer la demande est toujours la même?

Merci d’avance


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