The fundamental part of federal legislation is the Cultural Pact Act passed in 1973. This Act has also served as the basis for legislation (in the form of decrees) at community level.
According to the Cultural Pact Act, regulation regarding recognition and funding of regular cultural activities is determined according to a decree or discussion of a representative government meeting. In the event of a lack of these regulations all subsidies and benefits must be allocated from a specific budget. This excludes subsidies for new experimental initiatives, but these starting subsidies may only be granted for a maximum of three years, on the basis of advice from an authorised advisory body.
The Cultural Pact Act also prescribes that government aid – in whatever form– must guarantee the equality of rights between citizens, regardless of their conviction.
The Cultural Pact Act also obliges every government to set up participation or advisory structures and to involve these in the preparation and implementation of the cultural policy.
Complaints against infringements on the stipulations of the Cultural Pact Act can be submitted to a special commission.