In accordance with the Cultural Policy Act (1993), the Dutch government guarantees a financial contribution to a selection of cultural institutions and six public funds (see chapter 1.1). These cultural institutions form the so-called national basic infrastructure (BIS) and can be seen as the organisations that ensure the supply and development of high quality cultural output. Especially the museums in the BIS are often former state owned museums that were privatized in the last decades of the 20th century in possession of state collection and therefore sure of their position in the BIS. Since the implementation of the Heritage Act in 2015, the preservation of the state collection is ensured and no longer plays a role in selecting museums for the BIS (see chapters 3.1 and 4.2.2). In the guidelines for the cultural policy in 2021-2024 (2019), Minister Van Engelshoven expresses her desire to follow the advice of the Council for Culture to include the public activities of those museums in the Heritage Act as well.
Institutions that originated from one of the levels of government, often remain strongly tied to the government they originated from, for instance because (parts of) their collection or the building they reside in is still government owned. On the provincial and municipal level, not all cultural institutions are privatized. Provincial institutions are particularly focusing on cultural education and participation. Several of these institutions joined forces in the Council of Twelve.
Since 2011, cultural institutions were urged by the state government to increase their self-generated revenue and show more entrepreneurship if they wanted to get funded. Since then, several institutions disappeared due to corresponding budget cuts. Especially the museums have proven themselves capable of expanding their own income. However, this focus on entrepreneurship has caused the diminished number of institutions to produce more output, causing negative effects on, amongst others, the cultural labour market and budgets for maintaining archival activities and the care for collections.
Numbers on the solely private institutions are scarcely available. This availability at the moment is not proficient for providing a clear view of the ratio between public and private institutions.