4.2.1 Conceptual issues of policies for the arts
In many European countries, the legitimacy of subsidies for arts and culture is under pressure, with government expenditure being under increasing strain by the financial and economic crisis. In Flanders, this is no different. There has recently been an increasing focus on the funding of the arts. There were discussions on financial aspects of arts funding (subsidies versus additional funding, business models and economic impact of arts policy), which has sparked off other debates about the role of arts and culture in society and the relationship between arts and politics.
Anno 2012, the context for these debates is the new funding round under the Arts Decree (multiannual envelopes for the term 2013-2016 for all artistic sectors except film and literature). The budget outlines for this round are not yet entirely clear (in february 2012). Government expenditure is still under pressure, but the Flemish Prime Minister and Minister of Culture have indicated that in 2012, culture will not be subjected to heavier cuts than other sectors, because of the importance the Flemish government is giving to the role of culture in society.
It is to be expected that the funding round under the Arts Decree will lead to a number of revised equilibria in the artistic landscape: