2.3 Cultural policy objectives
Dutch cultural policy objectives reflect the Council of Europe's four cultural principles, particularly the principle referring to the promotion of identity and diversity, support for creativity and participation in cultural life. The Netherlands stresses the multi-faceted nature of cultural identity. Recently, however, the urgency of speeding up the integration of ethnic minorities into Dutch society has been placed at the forefront of the political agenda. Naturalisation courses for foreigners wishing to become Dutch citizens became obligatory in 2003. These courses also include a language provision: every new Dutch citizen must be able to speak Dutch. In cultural policy programmes, more stress is being placed on cooperation and exchange between cultural entities, and less on the cultural autonomy of ethnic groups, a new direction in political thinking (see chapter 4.2.4).