The Culture Pact (“Cultuurpact”, which was codified in the law of 16 July 1973) is an important part of Federal legislation with regard to the allocation of public funding for culture. It was also set out in a Flemish decree (28 January 1974) and has served as a fundament for other decrees on the level of the Communities.
Building on art. 11 of the Belgian Constitution (see 2.2 and 4.1.1), the Culture Pact was intended to protect “ideological and philosophical factions” (the official title of the Culture Pact Law is “Wet van 16 juli 1973 waarbij de bescherming van de ideologische en filosofische strekkingen gewaarborgd wordt”). This is related to Belgium’s history being shaped by political and philosophical divisions (the so-called ‘zuilen’, see 1.1.). The Culture Pact stipulates different modes and levels of participation in the implementation of cultural policies, such as prior consultation of advisory bodies that represent the professional field. This has shaped later Flemish regulations on supporting the cultural field (see 1.2.3 and 4.2.1). Complaints about the violation of the regulations of the Culture Pact can be filed with the national Culture Pact Commission.
Legislation on the Flemish level has been an important factor in the history of local policies on culture, for example with regard to support for local culture centres and libraries. A significant part of these support measures eventually converged in the Decree on Local Cultural Policy of 2001, which underwent a number of changes in the following years — the current Decree is dated 6 July 2012. Some fundamental modifications happened in the wake of the ‘Internal State Reform’, including changes to the regulations on the funding of local authorities with regard to culture. Since 2016, this funding has been integrated into the Municipal Fund, in which it is no longer earmarked (see 1.2.4). The divestment of the cultural competences of the provincial authorities (since 2018) in Flanders is another consequence of the Internal State Reform. This is codified in art. 2 (§ 3) of the current version of the Province Decree of 9 December 2005.
 In communes with linguistic facilities (see also 2.5.4) bordering Brussels-Capital Region, this reform took place in 2018.