Decisions of the Government of Flanders (‘Vlaamse Regering’) are made as a result of consensus between its ministers, who meet on a weekly basis. There is regular consultation and cooperation among the different entities of the government administration. The Department of Culture, Youth and Media (see 1.2.3), for example, cooperates with the Flanders Department of Foreign Affairs (see 1.4.1), VISITFLANDERS (see 3.5.6), the Ministry of Education and Training (see 5.1), or other administration services dealing with Equal Opportunities Policies (see 2.5.1, 2.5.6, and 2.6). It also works together with other entities within the Flemish government, such as the Flemish Ombudsman Service (see 2.5.5).
Consultation between the Federal State and the Communities and Regions in Belgium happens in an Intergovernmental Committee. Here, policies are geared to one another, cooperation agreements are defined, and conflicts of interest between the governments are settled. From within this Committee, the topics for specific Inter-Ministerial Conferences are decided. In the Inter-Ministerial conference on Culture, the ministers of this policy field from the different governments meet. This currently includes minister Jan Jambon, his counterparts in the French and German-speaking Communities, the Brussels minister for Bi-cultural Matters (see 1.2.3), the Federal ministers mentioned in 1.2.2., and members of the executive boards of the Flemish (VGC, see 1.2.4) and French Community Commissions in Brussels. Current topics include the impact of COVID-19 on cultural sectors, the regulations for artists in the social security framework (the ‘kunstenaarsstatuut’, see 4.1.3), and tax shelter regulations (see 4.1.4).
In 2012 — after a long period of preparation and negotiation — a cooperation agreement was signed between the Flemish and the French Communities. This provides the framework for exchange of expertise between these levels of government and support schemes for cultural projects that involve cooperation between organisations in both Communities. A cultural programme with the German-speaking Community was set up for the period 2019-2021. This includes similar project support, but also literary residencies and exchange of expertise on heritage (see also 1.4.1).
There are different legal frameworks in Flanders for cooperation between local authorities. With regard to the policy field of Culture, we should mention the Cultural Heritage Decree — which allows for the funding of inter-municipal covenants in providing services with regard to cultural heritage — and the new Decree on Supralocal Cultural Activities (see 1.2.4).