The tasks of the Federal Government in the field of cultural policy are concentrated in the following areas: representation of the state as a whole, establishing a regulatory framework for the development of art and culture, promoting cultural institutions and projects relevant to the state as a whole, preserving and protecting cultural heritage, foreign cultural policy, fostering historical awareness and promoting Berlin as a capital city.
In 1998, the Federal Government created, for the first time, a Federal Government Commissioner for Cultural Affairs and the Media (today: Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media / die Beauftragte für Kultur und Medien); thus creating a central contact point for cultural affairs at the federal level. The Commissioner post was held by Michael Naumann (SPD) from 1998 to 2001, Julian Nida Rümelin (SPD) from 2001 to 2002, Christina Weiss (Independent) from 2002 to 2005, Bernd Neumann (CDU) from 2005 to 2013 and since 2013 Monika Grütters (CDU).
The Federal Foreign Office is responsible for international cultural policy. In 2018, the office of Minister of State for International Cultural Policy was introduced there. The incumbent is Michelle Müntefering (SPD).
In the 19th legislative period – since 2018 -, two further Minister of States in the Federal Chancellery will assume responsibilities with interfaces to cultural policy: Dorothee Bär (CDU) as the Minister of State for Digital Affairs and Anette Widmann-Mauz (CDU) as State Minister of State for Integration.
Since 1998, the German Bundestag(Parliament) subsequently set up a Committee on Cultural and Media Affairs. It acts as a supervisory body for the work of the Federal Government Commissioner for Cultural and Media Affairs (BKM) and for the department responsible for foreign cultural policy at the German Federal Office (Auswärtiges Amt).
One of the most important responsibilities of the Parliamentary Committee on Cultural and Media Affairs is to examine all legal initiatives and changes with respect to their possible effect on culture (Kulturverträglichkeit), e. g. tax laws including special provisions for non-profit organisations. The supreme right of the parliament is the budgetary law. The Parliamentary Committee on Cultural and Media Affairs was chaired by Elke Leonhard (SPD) from 1998 to 2000, Monika Griefahn (SPD) from 2000 to 2005, Hans Joachim Otto (FDP) from 2005 to 2009, Monika Grütters (CDU) from 2009 to 2013 Siegmund Ehrmann (SPD) from 2014 to 2017 and since 2017 Katrin Budde.
The Parliamentary Committee is sub-divided into specialised bodies such as the subcommittee for Foreign Cultural Relation and Education Policy, Civic Engagement or New Media. In autumn 2003, a Commission of Enquiry or “Enquete-Kommission” on culture in Germany was set up for a limited period. The final report of 1 200 pages lists 459 concrete recommendations for policymakers on the federal and regional level and was presented on 13 November 2007. It is still regarded as one of the key documents for German cultural policy.
Other Commissions of Enquiry on cultural-relevant topics were The Internet and digital society and Growth,
Wellbeing and Quality of Life (both from 2010 to 2013).
 To mark its twentieth anniversary, the German Cultural Council presented the publication Wachgeküsst: 20 Jahre neue Kulturpolitik des Bundes 1998 -2018.