The Cultural Policy Act (Wet op het specifiek cultuurbeleid, 1993) was considered a milestone in the legal basis of Dutch cultural policy. It defined and redefined a number of aspects of cultural policy. This act was needed to ratify specific payments by the government to local authorities and national public cultural funds. It also regulates specific policy and financial relations with the provinces and municipalities (see chapter 1.2). The Cultural Policy Act specifies the responsibilities for the Minister for Culture: providing the conditions for the preservation, development and social and geographic distribution of cultural expressions of national significance. “In this, the Minister should follow the principles of excellence and diversity (the latter referring to diversity in disciplines rather than audience […].”
Cultural education is partly rooted in legislation on education: the Primary Education Act (1981), Secondary Education Act (1963) and Higher Education and Research Act (1992). They define the framework for cultural education in primary and secondary education, and arts education (training of artists and art teachers). The adult and vocational education Act describes the framework for some of the so-called creative vocational training in secondary vocational education (MBO).
Table 2: International legal instruments implemented by the Netherlands in the cultural field
|Title of the act||Year of adoption|
|Protocol to the Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict (1954)||1954|
|Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage (1972)||1992|
|Second Protocol to the Hague Convention of 1954 for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict (1999)||1999|
|UNESCO Convention to Combat the Illegal Traffic (1970)||2009|
|COUNCIL OF EUROPE|
|European Cultural Convention (1954)||1956|
|Convention for the Protection of the Architectural Heritage of Europe (Granada 1985)||1994|
|European Convention on the Protection of the Archaeological Heritage (revised) (Valletta 1992)||2007|
|European Landscape Convention (Florence 2000)||2005|
|Directive 2012/28/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 October 2012 on certain permitted uses of orphan works||2014|
 Meerkerk, E. van and Q.L. van den Hoogen (eds.). 2018. Cultural Policy in the Polder: 25 Years Dutch Cultural Policy Act. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press: 19.