In 2016, the Dutch government developed the programme Tel mee met Taal (Go Along with Language)to decrease the number of low literates. For the period 2020-2024, the government will invest EUR 425 million to educate the approximately 1.3 million low literates between 16 and 65 years old in the Netherlands.
The government subsidises five institutions in the period 2017-2020 to support the literature sector:
- Dutch Foundation for Literature supports translators and writers and promotes Dutch literature abroad.
- Dutch Reading Foundation promotes Dutch and Frisian readings among the youth in particular.
- De Schrijvercentrale (Writers’ Centre) supports the publishing sector and advises and arbitrates with organisations that are arranging author readings. They aim to promote literature offerings in the Netherlands.
- Dutch Fund for
“encourages the quality, diversity and independence of
journalism by using money, knowledge and research to promote the innovation of the infrastructure for journalism in the Netherlands.”
- Literatuurmuseum (Literature Museum) focuses on the literary heritage of the Netherlands.
Dutch Reading Foundation, De Schrijvercentrale and the Dutch Fund for Journalism Projects are part of the national basic infrastructure (BIS) 2017-2020 (see also chapter 1.1). The Dutch Foundation for Literature decides which literature organisations will receive subsidy from the central government.
Examples of public initiatives that support and promote the literature sector are: Voorlees Express (The Reading Express), Kinderboekenweek (Children’s Books Week), Boekenweek (Book Week) and the International Literature Festival Utrecht.
The Dutch literature sector has its own knowledge and innovation centre since 2016, which is the KVB Boekwerk. The main aim is to combine all the available data, thereby improving the sector’s ability to position itself quantitatively, economically, socially and culturally. The Netherlands is also an active participant in the annual Frankfurt Book Fair, which is considered an important event for putting Dutch literature on the map internationally.
The Council for Culture gives the following recommendations concerning the future of the literary sector to the government:
- “Investments regarding reading- and literature education and low literacy.
- The promotion of the inclusive and pluralistic characteristics of literature.
- Unimpeded accessibility for every Dutch citizen to cultural products of the literary sector.
- The creation of optimal conditions for fair author’s remuneration.”