Since 1 April 2006, the Flemish public administration system has undergone major changes. The main tasks are now organised on the basis of 11 policy areas, one of which is “Culture, Youth, Sports and Media”. In principle, one minister would be in charge of each policy area, but this is not always the case. In 2014-2019, two Ministers are responsible for this policy area. One is the Minister for Culture, Youth, Media and Brussels. The Minister for Sports is also responsible for Economy, Work and Innovation.
Just like any other of the 11 policy areas, the policy area for Culture, Youth, Sports and Media consists of:
- A Policy Council, where politicians and senior officials involved in a specific policy area meet;
- The Department for Culture, Youth and Media. This consists of different sections and services, including the Museum for Fine Arts in Antwerp, the Strategic Advisory Council SARC and sector-specific sections, for e.g. the Sections ‘Arts’, ‘Cultural Heritage’ and ‘Socio-Cultural Work’. The figure behind this link represents the structure of the Flemish Department of Culture, Youth and Media as a whole.
Immovable heritage belongs to the policy area “Environment”. Formal art education comes under “Education and Training”.
French-speaking Community of Belgium
General Culture Administration
|General Audio-visual and Media Service||General Letters and Books Service||General Cultural Inspectorate Service||General Territorial Action Service||General Artistic Creation Service||General Heritage Service||General Cultural Participation Service|
|Media and Press Aid Directorate||Letters Directorate||Inspectorate Areas Directorate||Cultural Centres Directorate||Performing arts Directorate||Cultural Heritage Directorate||Continuing Education Directorate||Administrative Support Directorate|
|Cinema Production Directorate||French Language Directorate||Liège, Namur and Luxembourg Inspectorate Area||Public Reading Directorate||Theatre Directorate||Conservation Service||Youth Directorate||Human Resources Service|
|Film Selection Commission Service||Regional Languages Service||Hainaut and Brabant Wallon Inspectorate Area||Nivelles Library||Dance Service||Heritage Information Systems Service||International Youth Bureau||Budget and Accounts Service|
|Cinema Screening and Promotion Service||Youth Literature Service||Brussels Inspectorate Area||Gembloux Public Reading Centre||Circus Service||Valorisation Service||Training Directorate||Infrastructure and Security Service|
|Wallonie-Bruxelles Images||Book Service||Legal and Financial Support Service||Hannut Public Reading Centre||Music Directorate||Operator Management Service||Creativity and Artistic Practices Service||Non-merchant Employment Service|
|Transverse Support Service||Royal Academy of French Language and Literature||Transverse Support Service||Libremont Public Reading Centre||Contemporary Plastic Arts Directorate||General PEP’s Delegation||Deaf and Hearing-Impaired Service||Strategic Directorate|
|Transverse Support Service||Lobbes Central Reserve||Multidisciplinary Projects Service||Film Library Service||Literacy Service||Communication Service|
|27 September Library||Wallonie-Bruxelles Théâtre Danse||Mariemont Royal Museum||La Marlagne||International Relations Service|
|Naninne Material Loan Centre||Wallonie-Bruxelles Musique||Transverse Support Service||Transverse Support Service||Creative Europe Media Service|
|Culture Point Service||Wallonie-Bruxelles Design Mode||IT Unit|
|Transverse Support Service||Transverse Support Service||Dissemination Directorate|
|French Community Coordination Unit|
The French-speaking Community of Belgium is the French-language body within the Federal State with responsibility for cultural affairs. However, a number of cultural dimensions are handled by other public authorities.
Some cultural affairs fall under the responsibility of the Regions, as follows:
- Brussels-Capital Region: the Committee of the French Community (Cocof).
- Walloon Region: General Directorate for Planning, Territory, Housing and Heritage – Department of Heritage: archaeology, protection and restoration of heritage.
The Regions have responsibility for matters of importance to cultural development: the built cultural heritage, tourism, local and regional planning, the development of urban and rural life, social integration, employment, the economy, new technologies and health.
Wallonie-Bruxelles International is the central administration responsible for external relations. This means it works closely with the French-speaking Community of Belgium, Cocof and the Wallonia Public Service.
Provincial and local levels
All the Provinces and many towns and municipalities are developing cultural policies. In some sectors, such as cultural centres and libraries, these policies are agreed between the French-speaking Community of Belgium, the Provinces and the municipalities.
The Federal State has retained major cultural responsibilities, namely the big cultural, artistic and scientific institutions, typically based in Brussels: the Royal Institute of Natural Sciences, the Royal Museum of Central Africa, the Royal Museums of Art and History, the Royal Museums of Fine Arts, the Royal Library, the Royal Theatre of La Monnaie, the National Orchestra, the Archives of the Kingdom and the Palais des Beaux-Arts (Bozar).
Other institutions, such as the Cinema Library, the Cinema Museum and Europalia, span two communities.
These big cultural institutions represent the cultural heritage and the Fine Arts and essentially illustrate the cultural conservation function.
The Federal State likewise has competence over a whole string of issues, notably at the legislative level: the status of the artist, copyright, VAT, laws on the cultural pact (protection of ideological and philosophical movements, etc.).
Other big sectors run by the Federal State overlap with cultural
aspects: topics such as the policy on cities, equal opportunities (the
centre for equal opportunities and the fight against racism), the battle
against poverty, and security and society contracts (the Ministry of
the Interior), etc.
 The Committee of the French Community (Cocof) is a federal body within the Belgian institutional landscape which handles a series of areas closely linked to the everyday lives of the French-speaking residents of the Brussels Region.
The cultural portfolio forms part of the Cultural Affairs Department of the Ministry for the German-speaking Community. In addition to cultural affairs, the Cultural Affairs Department also administers the areas of youth, continuing and adult Education, media, sport, tourism, monument and countryside protection and archaeological excavations.
The culture portfolio encompasses the arts (music, theatre, dance, plastic and visual arts, and literature), cultural centres, museums, historical research, protection and preservation of moveable cultural heritage, folklore, cultural initiatives and projects together with inter-Community and international cooperation.
Certain transversal subject-areas are administered by the general offices of the Ministry, such as infrastructure and certain activities in the area of foreign relations.
Ministry of the German-speaking Community