There is no official body in charge of coordinating cultural policy initiatives, programmes and measures undertaken by all levels of government. The Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs of the Länder in the Federal Republic of Germany (KMK) acts as a platform for co-operation and exchange among the federal states (Länder). Co-operation platforms also exist at the municipal level through local authority associations such as the German Association of Cities, the German Association of Towns and Municipalities, and the Association of German Counties. These associations have created specialised divisions and cultural affairs committees to address specific topics which may also be relevant at the level of the federal states (Länder) and Federal levels (Bund). The sub-committees prepare recommendations which are submitted to the respective local authorities for consideration.
The office of the Federal Government Commissioner for Cultural and Media Affairs (BKM) cooperates with the KMK on specific subjects as needed. Regular communication takes place on a working level. Representatives of the BKM regularly attend meetings of the KMK’s Committee for European and International Affairs and the Film Committee of the federal states (Länder).
Consultation and coordination of cultural policy between the federal states (Länder) and their municipalities is handled in a number of ways. In addition to bilateral contacts between the relevant ministry and individual municipalities, consultations take place between the ministry and the local authority associations on issues of significance for the Land as a whole. In several municipalities, specific offices have been created to facilitate supraregional cooperation. In other municipalities this type of cooperation is accomplished by Regional Conferences on Cultural Affairs.
The various levels of government have rather different approaches to the systematic integration of culture into other policy areas and to strategic planning. However, dwindling resources at all governmental levels have encouraged greater inter-ministerial coordination in terms of the definition of goals and the use of resources. Within the general process of intensifying transversal debates across different policy areas, several working groups have been set up. An example is the “culture and integration” working group which was set up within the office of the BKM, with members drawn from the federal government, the government of the federal states and municipalities, plus representatives of non-governmental organisations, as well as the inter-ministerial federal State- Working Group EUBAM (EUropäische Angelegenheiten für Bibliotheken, Archive, Museen und Denkmalpflege / European Affairs for libraries, archives, museums and monument preservation). The group brings together representatives of the Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs of the Länder in the Federal Republic of Germany (KMK), the federal and federal state ministries, the German Research Foundation (DFG) and experts from libraries, archives, museums and monument preservation.