Thanks to the great work of our expert author Simon Leenknegt and his colleagues at the Flanders Arts Institute, the cultural policy profile of Belgium is up to date again. Currently, the profile only includes updated information on Flanders, because the update for Wallonia will follow separately in 2021. The available information on Wallonia can be found in the archived version of the profile (2017).
Import developments include the proposed reform of the Arts Decree, the main legislative framework in Flanders and Brussels for supporting the professional arts. One of the issues faced with the current Arts Decree is the lack of balance between disciplines, as funding applications are primarily judged based on individual quality without taking the diversity of the sum of all the funded initiatives into account. Part of the reform is the plan to incorporate the assessment of balances in the procedures for evaluating funding applications (see 2.9 for more information).
Another prominent subject of debate has been the socio-economic position of artists and cultural professionals. Their working conditions are characterised by multiple job holding, a combination of different social security schemes, informal and short-term labour agreements and low wages. Several initiatives were launched within the cultural sector to raise awareness regarding fair practices, for example Juist is Juist (‘what’s right is right’). Current minister Jan Jambon wishes to investigate if the guidelines on fair practices provided by Juist is Juist could be adapted for the criteria of funding. This illustrates that actors in the cultural field are seen by policy makers as active partners in achieving fair practices (see 2.3 for more information).
For the complete updated profile of Belgium (Flanders), please click here.