Netherlands/ 3. Competence, decision-making and administration
3.3 Inter-ministerial or intergovernmental co-operation
Since Cultural Affairs are only a small and relatively unimportant issue in the central government, the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science is highly dependent on cooperation with other ministries. Negotiations with the Ministry of Financial and Economic Affairs have to be undertaken constantly in order to safeguard the interests of the arts and culture. In principle all kinds of contacts between ministries are possible. In some cases, committees for interdepartmental co-operation are installed - the duration of their existence may vary enormously.
Some examples of inter-ministerial or inter-governmental cooperation are:
- the Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment has established a subsidy scheme which aims to spend 1.5% of the construction costs of government buildings and 1% of those of school buildings on commissions or purchases of art works. This Ministry works closely with Ministry of Transport, Public Works and Water Management with respect to historic buildings and sites and architectural policy;
- in his policy memorandum Art for Life's Sake [Kunst van leven, 2007], the Minister of Culture Ronald Plasterk stresses that policy measures regarding monuments and architecture should no so much be directed at individual buildings as at the improvement in the quality of the environment. The Dutch government aims to realise spatial quality by integrating and strengthening economic, ecological and socio-cultural values in spatial planning. To improve the special quality of buildings, cities, villages and landscapes, the so called Action Programme on Spatial Planning and Culture [Actieprogramma Ruimte en Cultuur] was launched in 2005. The programme is a joint initiative of 7 ministries. In the course of 2008, the ministries of Education, Culture and Science and of Housing, Spatial Planning and Environment will publish a policy paper on this issue;
- the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs makes a limited contribution to cultural events and projects related to export and the promotion of tourism;
- the Dutch Ministries of Foreign Affairs and of Education, Culture and Science share the responsibility for international cultural relations. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is responsible for the cultural attachés at the embassies, representing Dutch culture abroad, for activities carried out within the Council of Europe and UNESCO, and for bilateral cultural relations. Both Ministries cooperate in stimulating international cultural projects, the HGIS funds, as they are called (see chapter 3.4.1, chapter 3.4.2 and chapter 8.1.2). These funds are used for projects that strengthen the international aspect of Dutch cultural policy;
- the Dutch Ministry of Justice is responsible for the concessionary system of private lotteries. About 8% of the total budget transferred to good causes through private lotteries goes to art and culture; approximately 53 million euros in 2008 (see also chapter 5.1.5). This Ministry is also responsible for copyright legislation (see chapter 5.1.7);
- the Dutch Ministry of Finance is involved in cultural policy through tax incentives (see chapter 5.1.5);
- Culture and Economy is a cooperation programme initiated in 2006 by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science. It aims to strengthen the economic scope of culture and creativity, by giving an impulse to the Netherlands' creative potential. The fruits of this endeavour are that the business sector gains more insight into the possibilities offered by the creative industries, which can lead to a new source of ideas for the development and use of new technologies and products. At the same time, the cultural sector is made more aware of its market potential (see also chapter 4.2.3 and http://www.cultuureneconomie.nl).
Chapter published: 24-01-2011