New policy strategy to support interculturalism and address diversity is focused on Participation, Personnel and Programming.
4.2.4 Cultural diversity and inclusion policies
The Flemish Parliament approved a Decree for a policy in the field of cultural diversity (relating to ethic-cultural minorities) in 1998 (28 April 1998). The minority policy is a three-track policy: an emancipation policy focussed on the integration of the target groups, a reception policy and a relief policy.
Between 1998 and today, the policy course has changed. On the practical and operational level, the Flemish government sees interculturalisation as "a constant process of tuning organisational structures, personnel & services offered to the ethnic-cultural diversified society". Intercultural policy is considered more than a passive tolerance for ethnic-cultural diversity; it is a policy that is capable of actively supporting and stimulating heterogeneity. The actions are focussed on a qualitative and sustainable policy on behalf of people and organisations.
Interculturality and intercultural competence are central concepts in the recent multi-annual cultural policy documents. The following definition of the concept is used in Flanders: Interculturality concerns the mutual encounter, dialogue & cooperation between people with different ethnic-cultural backgrounds.
Interculturalisation in the cultural sector is mainly seen as policy processes on different tracks referred to as the "3 P's": Participation, Personnel & Programming. On the Flemish level, interculturality is anchored in all decrees and it is a basic principle for the Flemish government as a whole. Government subsidised organisations are invited to not only reflect on interculturality but also to declare a clear position and implement an action programme. Recently, "intercultural dialogue" has been made more prominent in the Arts Decree (2004, amended in 2008), since it has become one of the evaluation criteria in the assessment procedures for projects and structures. The Local Cultural Policy Decree focuses on promoting cultural diversity and working with specific target groups for cultural centres and community centres.
In the previous policy period (2004-2009), a cluster of initiatives formed part of an "interculturality" trajectory ("Actieplan interculturaliseren") that was active in the period 2006-2009. For instance, it formulated criteria for staff, management and governance of a number of institutions and stimuli to promote the diversity of cultural production and the installation of a knowledge centre for interculturalisation in the Flemish Ministry for Culture. The "Action plan" has recently been evaluated rather critically (see chapter 4.2.7). The current cultural policy document (2009-2014) keeps cultural diversity high on the agenda; linked to participation, diversity is one of the strategic objectives as a catalyst for innovation. As such, it was a topic of discussion at the 2010 "Cultuurforum" (see chapter 4.1). In 2011, the minister of Culture initiated a trajectory in which the cultural sector itself, guided by the "knowledge centre of interculturalisation" of the Flemish government, develops a "statement of commitment" concerning interculturality in their everyday practice.
The perspective of ethnic-cultural diversity has equally been integrated in other policy instruments. Several instruments have been developed to encourage the highest level of participation in the field of culture. Encouraging participation is carried out through various actions, focussed on five different groups (one of which is people with an ethnic-culturally diversified background). To intercept the continuous change that is inherent in a dynamic participation policy, the instruments were bundled in the Participation Decree (see chapter 4.2.5).
Support measures are not based on certain cultural groups, but rather on the diversity of cultures and artistic disciplines.
There are many cultural associations for minority communities in the sectors of continuing education and youth. The principle objectives of several of these associations are to provide information to their constituents on the protection of their rights and to help develop minority cultures.
Because the populations and the associations concerned do not spontaneously exploit the mechanisms that can support their projects, the department of continuous education defined an action plan focused on the support to cultural diversity and to intercultural actions. Priority is given to training projects, equal opportunity projects, and social and cultural identity constructions for the youth.
In the area of world music and of performing arts, specific attention is given to artists and groups of immigrant origin.
Inter-culture is a priority for the current government of the French Community (see chapter 3.3). An inventory implemented and proposals are under development.
The RTBF, public service broadcaster of the French Community, is obligated to ensure that its programmes are of high quality and reflect the diversity of its audiences - including meeting the expectations of the socio-cultural minorities of the community regardless of race, sex, ideology, philosophy or religion. Broadcasts are considered as a factor of social cohesion and should therefore not lead to social segregation.
Whether one speaks of minor urban or rural districts in the German-speaking Community, many places are seeing a high number of incomers from non-European states. However, the situation varies from borough to borough, so that each has developed its own measures, which are both social and e.g. cultural in nature.
For its part, the German-speaking Community supports initiatives by private-sector associations to advance integration. Above all in the area of continuing and adult education, recognised organisations have constructed a varied and comprehensive offering that includes literacy courses, language programmes, international events and more.