Table 7 displays expenditure by the Flemish government on culture in 2019 (EUR 510 238 000, or 1.1% of total expenditure by the Flemish government in 2019). Here, ‘culture’ designates a specific range of activities and sectors, including arts (such as the disciplines falling under the Arts Decree and the funds for literature and film, see 7.2.1), cultural heritage (such as museums, archives, and intangible heritage), and socio-cultural work for adults (including circus and amateur arts). This, however, excludes expenses on media (such as broadcasting services) and immovable heritage (such as monuments and protected sites), which each reside with separate areas of competences — and, in some cases, with different ministers.
In 2009, expenditure figures for culture amounted to EUR 472 million. Over a ten-year period, these figures were at its lowest in 2016 (EUR 447 million) and peaked in 2018 (EUR 524 million). Under former ministers of Culture Joke Schauvliege (2009-2014) and Sven Gatz (2014-2019), a series of budget cuts took place. Each of these affected parts of the culture budget in a different way. More detailed figures on the evolution of parts of the culture expenditure are available for project funding for the arts and multi-year funding for arts organisations. Within the arts we see a steady increase over the years in the budget for large art institutions (‘kunstinstellingen’), while multi-year funding for other arts organisations has remained relatively stable.
Beside budget cuts, transfers between the Flemish and other levels of government (e.g. the local and provincial levels) also affect the figures of total expenditure on culture (see also 7.1.2).
New budget cuts were announced for 2020 by current minister of Culture Jan Jambon (2019-2024), among them a 6% cut in funding for socio-cultural organisations and many arts organisations. Initially, this also meant a severe decrease in project funding for the arts. At the time of writing, this has been partially undone (see also 2.3). The budget for funding cultural heritage organisations, on the other hand, was raised.
Table 7: Expenditure by the Flemish government on culture: by sector, 2019, in 1000 euro
|Field/Domain/Sub-domain||TOTAL in 1000||TOTAL in %|
|Cultural Heritage||64 369||12.6|
|Flanders Literature||6 663|
|Flemish Audiovisual Fund (Film Fund)||17 845|
|Other (funding for arts organisations, project funding, other)||165 654|
|Socio-cultural work for adults||69 251||13.6|
|Total for area of competence of culture||510 238||100|
 This calculation takes into account direct government expenditure on its own administration (EUR 27 852 000). It should be noted that this government administration deals with the areas of competence ‘culture’, ‘media’ and ‘youth’.
 Note that these figures differ from those presented in 7.1.2 and in table 6, which display expenditure in 2018, within COFOG-categories 08.2 and 08.3. The Flemish policy field of Culture, to which table 7 refers, uses different categories.
 Hesters, Delphine, Joris Janssens, and Simon Leenknegt. 2018. ‘De projectenparadox. De evolutie van projectsubsidies en beurzen via het Kunstendecreet (2006-2017)’. In Cijferboek Kunsten 2018, Brussel: Kunstenpunt, 367–87.