EU Regulations and Technical Standards


Circus is always an international community. Not only many circus artists come from far away countries to mesmerize audiences with their unique skills, also most of the circus staff and technical specialists usually come from a multitude of different nationalities. Many circuses even travel across several states during one season, entertaining their audiences wherever they go.

The question of visa and work permits therefore is crucial for the circus community. The European Circus Association has taken several initiatives to facilitate these procedures. Early in 2013 an extensive report was filed for the European Commission pointing out the key obstacles for circuses to travel freely throughout Europe keeping their multi-national, multi-cultural cast.

ECA is a member of PEARLE*, the Performing Arts Employers Associations League. Together with PEARLE*, ECA works on issues like the harmonization of taxation and social security for circuses and their employees across Europe.

Circuses travelling across Europe are obliged to comply with a vast number of technical requirements, regulations and restrictions. Until today these requirements differ from country to country and sometimes even within one country. For example, the signs pointing to emergency exits must be green in one country, red in another. Aisles must be 1 meter in one country, 1.20 meter in another. Such different regulations prevent the circuses from exploiting their right to move freely within the European Union. ECA has worked in Brussels on the standardization of these technical regulations and will continue to do so until circuses can move freely from country to country and entertain their audiences wherever they are in Europe.