Good governance in the cultural sector has been an issue of growing interest since 2000, when a special commission, headed by Melle Daamen, published a report on cultural governance. This report was followed by a code of conduct for the cultural sector in 2003, which in its place was replaced by the first Code Cultural Governance in 2006. The latest version of the Code was published in 2019 and offers a normative framework for good management and supervision in cultural organisations.
In the coalition agreement for 2017-2021 (Confidence in the Future), the current government emphasises the value of culture for the Dutch identity. The knowledge on shared history, values and liberties – “the anchors of Dutch identity in times of globalisation and uncertainty” — should be increased and actively propagated. In school, children will learn the national anthem and it should be possible for them to visit the Rijksmuseum (the largest national museum) in Amsterdam and the Dutch parliament in The Hague. Important historical places need to be more visible and accessible, as they tell the story of Dutch history (see also chapter 3.1). The Canon of the Netherlands (an overview of important events, people, texts, artworks and objects from the Dutch history, established in 2006) will be distributed to young people who reach the age of 18 and to people who acquire Dutch nationality.
The Canon of the Netherlands is currently being redeveloped by an independent commission in order to include ‘the darker sides’ of Dutch history and more diverse perspectives, as requested by the current Minister of Education, Culture and Science Ingrid van Engelshoven. The new canon is expected to be presented in spring 2020.