1. Cultural policy system
Last update: February, 2022
In contrast to most European countries, Germany was made up of many independent feudal states and city republics that each pursued their own cultural policies and established a host of cultural institutions. Among them were distinct cultural traditions that were not centralised nor assimilated in the German Empire (Reich), founded in 1871. While the new Reich government was responsible for foreign cultural policy, the constituent states retained responsibility for their own cultural policies. The special autonomy of the municipalities extended to the area of cultural affairs which was supported by a strong civic commitment to the arts and culture. Under the new constitution of the Weimar Republic (1919-1933), public responsibility and support for the arts and culture was divided among the Reich government, the governments of the federal states (Länder), the city and municipal councils.
The approach adopted by the National Socialist regime (1933-1945) replaced the diversity that had evolved over the course of centuries with forced centralisation, stifling civic commitment and instrumentalising culture to serve the aims of the Regime. This experience with centralisation later led to the emergence of a strong penchant for federalism in the Federal Republic of Germany.
The National Socialist tyranny and World War II ended on 8 May 1945. The German Reich was then divided into three Western and one Eastern occupation zones. These four zones eventually became two: the Federal Republic of Germany and the German Democratic Republic (formally a Soviet occupation zone). Following a brief period marked by co-operation between the Federal Republic and the GDR, cultural policy evolved independently and developed along different lines in the two German states. This changed following Germany's reunification 40 years later on 3 October 1990.
German Democratic Republic (1949-1990)
In the former German Democratic Republic, a break was made with the tradition of cultural federalism that had prevailed in Germany until 1933. In 1952, the federal states (Länder) were dissolved and replaced by 15 districts. From 1954, the state-controlled cultural sector was headed by the Ministry of Culture. Cultural policy in the GDR was based on a concept of culture that encompassed the "humanistic heritage" of classical art forms, on the one hand, and new forms of everyday culture, on the other. The ruling Socialist Unity Party (SED), which exercised tight control in all parts of society, including most cultural activities, proposed that the "working class" should be both participants and drivers of cultural life in the GDR. The ideological basis of this claim was, however, a one-sided view of history that embraced only certain traditions of the traditional workers' movement. In addition to the reactivation of "classical" cultural institutes, new institutions engaged in cultural activities emerged, such as "houses of culture" or youth clubs. Particularly important were those activities organised by social and cultural associations as well as worker's unions within larger companies, all of which were under state supervision. Such state-run companies, along with the national and local authorities, were the most important supporters of this type of "popular culture". As a rule, the cultural work of all organisations was funded by the state and orchestrated by the SED.
Federal Republic of Germany (1949-1990)
Following World War II, Western Allies prescribed a very narrow role for the government of the new Federal Republic of Germany in the field of cultural policy, mainly as a consequence of the National Socialists' former abuse of culture and the arts. Following the restoration of the cultural infrastructure, cultural policy remained at first largely limited to the promotion of traditional art forms and cultural institutions. Not until the process of social modernisation got under way - accompanied by the youth and civic protest movements of the 1960s onward - did the scope of cultural policy broaden to include other, e.g. "sociocultural", areas of activity.
A "New Cultural Policy" emerged in the 1970s as part of a general democratisation process within society, the thrust of which was expanded to encompass everyday activities. The arts were to be made accessible to all members of society if at all possible. In the 1970s, the call for "culture for everyone" and for a "civil right to culture" led to a tremendous expansion of cultural activities, the further development of cultural institutions and the emergence of numerous new fields of cultural endeavour financed by increasing public expenditure. The reform-oriented cultural policy objectives of the 1970s were replaced in the 1980s by new priorities which saw culture as a factor enhancing Germany's attractiveness as a location for business and industry.
Reunified Federal Republic of Germany (since 1990)
The 1990s were profoundly influenced by the unification of Germany. In the new eastern federal states (Länder), adoption of the administrative structure of the "old" Federal Republic and its approach to cultural policy prompted a restructuring of and radical changes in the cultural landscape. These years have also been marked by austerity measures and budgetary constraints and by the increasingly evident structural problems of the major traditional cultural institutions.
In the early years of the following decade, cultural policy in Germany stabilised in comparison to the changes of the 1990s. However, cultural policy still faces great challenges and requires a constant re-orientation. The main issues are financial, particularly as the negative consequences of the recent global financial crisis on local and regional public budgets become more visible. On the other hand, some of these problems are structural in nature and concern the conceptional basis of cultural policy. Despite an improved state budget on the national level and in some of the federal states (Länder), there is on-going pressure on cultural institutions to increase their economic equity-ratio, to lead their institutions more economically, as well as to obtain funds from other sources such as sponsorship, patronage and marketing. In particular, the structural problems require a readjustment of the relationship between the state, market and society concerning the financing of cultural institutions, among other methods, through public private partnership models and a stronger integration of civic commitments. In addition, the conceptional basis of past cultural policies has been challenged by migration processes, rapid media development and a change in the composition of audiences (a decreasing total population and an increasing number of older people). Currently, intensive discussion is taking place in Germany on the requirements of cultural policies, due to these societal changes.
Main elements of the current cultural policy model
A binding definition of culture that could serve as a basis for cultural programmes and measures does not exist in Germany. In contrast to the situation in the first two decades after the founding of the Federal Republic of Germany, however, it can be assumed today that the cultural philosophies of the democratic parties at all levels of government no longer differ significantly. One reason for this convergence is the intensive cultural policy debate that began in the early 1970s in the context of the "New Cultural Policy" (see chapter 1). This debate led to a broadening of the narrow concept of culture prevailing in the 1950s and 1960s, which had been very strongly oriented towards the traditional cultural value system handed down for generations, to include new content and focus. The term "culture" today, thus encompasses contemporary creative and artistic activity (both inside and outside the framework of the traditional cultural institutions) as well as the culture of everyday life.
Cultural policy in Germany is based on a federal model. Historically grown and constitutionally confirmed, cultural policy in Germany is determined by the principles of decentralisation, subsidiarity and plurality (see also Chapter 1). Within the scope of their competence, municipalities and Länder maintain their own cultural institutions and offerings and promote or support a number of other cultural institutions and events.
In the sense of cooperative cultural federalism, the different political levels of action in the field of cultural policy behave in a complementary way to each other (see also chapter 1.2). Joint sponsorship of cultural institutions and activities is an expression of this effort (cooperative cultural federalism).
Another characteristic of the cultural policy of the Federal Republic of Germany is the principle of "state neutrality" with the simultaneous high guarantee and financing responsibility of the public sector for the maintenance of cultural institutions and programmes. The Constitution guarantees freedom of the arts (Article 5 (3)) which not only provides the basis for artistic autonomy and self-governing rights of cultural institutions and organisations but also stipulates a form of protection from state directives and regulation of content. Accordingly, the state is responsible for actively encouraging, supporting and upholding this artistic freedom in what is referred to as a Kulturstaat (cultural state). This approach to cultural policy is primarily supply-oriented. This means that the majority of cultural infrastructure is governed under the rule of law and is supported by the government – mainly by the individual federal states (Länder) and by the municipalities. More recently, there have been discussions concerning the privatisation of public services and institutions which has intensified efforts to promote more efficient arts management. As a result, there is a greater receptiveness to public-private partnership models and a willingness to privatise some cultural institutions.
Cultural Policy Objectives
The “New Cultural Policy” of the 1970s and 1980s, the principles of which have since become common knowledge, was in line with the programmatic recommendations of the Council of Europe from the very beginning. The concepts of cultural identity, cultural heritage, cultural diversity and participation are part of the programme of this policy concept.
Today, the main task of cultural policy is to enable as many people as possible to participate in art and culture. Cultural policy as social policy deals with societal challenges - demographic development, migration movements, dealing with value systems, financial developments, economisation, digitalisation.
"We want to make culture possible with everyone by ensuring its diversity and freedom, regardless of the form of organisation or expression, from classical music to comics, from Plattdeutsch to record shops," reads the first sentence of the chapter on culture and media policy in the new coalition agreement (2021). It advocates anchoring culture in its diversity as a state objective.
Last update: February, 2022
Germany is a federally organised country with different levels of government:
- the federal state or federation (i.e. the national authorities, parliament, etc.),
- the federal states (as autonomous states),
- and the municipalities (cities, municipalities, districts).
The German Constitution (Grundgesetz) sets out the division of responsibilities and competences between the different levels of government.
Article 30 of the German Constitution assigns most competencies to the federal states (Länder): "the exercise of state powers and competencies is a matter for the federal states (Länder), except where specifically stipulated or permitted by the German Constitution". At the moment, there is no general constitutional clause giving the Federal Government responsibility for areas such as culture or education. Therefore, cultural affairs "together with responsibility for schooling and higher education" are seen as the "heart of the sovereignty of the Länder", expressed in the term "cultural sovereignty" of the Länder.
As the most important public actor in the cultural sphere, the federal states are thus responsible for setting their own political priorities, for funding their respective cultural institutions and for promoting projects of regional significance. However, the federal and state governments are by no means the only public actors in cultural policy. The local authorities, i.e. the cities and districts, also have a cultural mandate and can refer to the Basic Law (Article 28, Paragraph 2) and to provisions in the respective state constitutions, which have generally given the municipalities their own cultural responsibility within the overall structure of public competences.
In this federal and highly decentralised system, political responsibility is assumed by the legislative bodies of the Federation and the Länder (parliaments) and the self-governing bodies of the municipalities (council assemblies) and their committees responsible for culture. The government authorities (ministries of culture) or the administrations of the municipalities (cultural departments) are responsible for the technical implementation. The structure of the ministries and
-The number of departments varies; often different departmental tasks are bundled together.
Within the framework of their competences, the Federal Government, the Länder and the municipalities have room for manoeuvre in terms of cultural policy, i.e. extensive freedom to shape the type, scope, focal points and priorities of their cultural promotion.
Tab. 1: The different levels of German cultural policy
Last update: February, 2022
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 office was held or has been held since its establishment by: Michael Naumann (SPD) from 1998 to 2001, Julian Nida Rümelin (SPD) from 2001 to 2002, Christina Weiss (no party affiliation) from 2002 to 2005, Bernd Neumann (CDU) from 2005 to 2013, Monika Grütters (CDU) from 2013 to 2021 and currently in the 20th legislative period since autumn 2021 Claudia Roth (Bündnis90/Die Grünen).
Responsibilities for international cultural policy lie with the Federal Foreign Office. In 2018, the office of Minister of State for International Cultural Policy was introduced there; the first incumbent was Michelle Müntefering (SPD); since autumn 2021, Katja Keul has been Minister of State for International Cultural Policy.
In the 20th legislative period, another Minister of State in the Federal Chancellery will assume responsibilities with interfaces to cultural policy: Reem Alabali-Radovan as Minister of State for Migration, Refugees and Integration. The Federal Ministry of Research and Education is responsible for cultural education.
Since 1998, the German Bundestag (Parliament) subsequently set up a Committee on Culture and the Media. It acts as a supervisory body for the work of the Federal Government Commissioner for Cultural and Me-dia Affairs (BKM) and for the department responsible for foreign cultural policy at the German Federal Office (Auswärtiges Amt). Furthermore, one of the most important tasks of the Culture Committee is to advise on and examine legislative initiatives and amendments with regard to their cultural compatibility (e.g. tax law, non-profit law) and to stimulate debates on cultural policy. The most noble right of the parliament is the budget right. In this respect, the Culture Committee has a central steering and decision-making function in the adoption of the culture budget, in order to fulfil its responsibility towards the electorate and for the interests of art and culture. The chairpersons of the Committee for Culture and Media were or are: 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 Katrin Budde (SPD) since 2017 (19th and again 20th legislative period).
The German Bundestag not only has its Committee on Culture and the Media as an instrument for safeguarding the interests of the arts and culture. Cultural issues are also dealt with in subcommittees (e.g. in the subcommittee "Foreign Cultural and Educational Policy").
In addition, there is the establishment of the Enquete Commission, which can be appointed for a limited period of time to discuss specific political issues in cooperation with parliamentarians and experts. In autumn 2003, for example, the Enquete Commission "Culture in Germany" was set up to discuss fundamental questions of cultural policy and promotion. The 1200-page final report, which contained 459 recommendations for action for policy-makers and legislators at the federal and state levels, was presented on 13 November 2007 (https://dserver.bundestag.de/btd/16/070/1607000.pdf). To this day, it is regarded as a central document in cultural policy. Other commissions of enquiry with topics relevant to culture included "Internet and Digital Society" and "Growth, Prosperity and Quality of Life" (both 2010 to 2013).
Last update: February, 2022
According to Article 30 of the German Basic Law, "cultural sovereignty" lies with the federal states (Länder), and is regarded as the core of the Länder' sovereignty (see 1.2.1). Each of the 16 federal states has its own cultural policies, which are characterized by their respective legislation, their own priorities and differently structured funding:
All of the 16 federal states (Bundesländer) have their own Parliaments, Parliamentary Committees that deal with cultural affairs and Ministries responsible for culture. As a rule, culture is combined at the Ministerial level with other policy areas, mainly education or science. In such cases, there are specific departments for cultural affairs. Only in a few federal states, responsibility for culture is located in the State Chancellery or Senate Chancellery.
On 1 September 2006, a reform of the federal system came into force. This has involved a redistribution of competences between the federal government and the federal states (Länder) in some policy areas. In the field of culture, the federal government (or level) assumed more responsibilities for culture in the capital, Berlin, and for the conservation of cultural heritage. German representation in the field of cultural policy within the European Union (Article 23, paragraph 6 of the Basic Law) has been given greater weight.
In October 2018, the federal states decided to establish an independent Conference of Ministers of Culture (Kultur-MK), which began its work on 1 January 2019. The Conference of Ministers of Culture deals with matters of cultural policy of supra-regional importance with the aim of forming a common opinion and will and representing common concerns vis-à-vis the Federal Government. The first chair was Hamburg's Senator for Culture and Media, Carsten Brosda, and the chair rotates according to the rotation model of the Minister Presidents' Conference.
Last update: February, 2022
The responsibility for cultural policy at local level has been passed on from the federal states (Länder) to the municipalities. There is no specific legal basis for the competence on cultural policy of the municipalities. They are generally anchored in Article 28, Paragraph II of the Basic Law and are regulated in the various state (Länder) constitutions in municipal and district laws.
On the municipal level, cultural affairs fall, in most cases, under the responsibility of specific Cultural Commissioners (Kulturdezernenten) with their own administrative structures. They are responsible for programmes, public cultural institutions such as local theatres, libraries, museums or music schools, etc. In addition, the municipal level (municipalities, independent cities and districts) has its own elected representatives (municipal councils or district councils), usually with cultural committees.
The local authorities have joined forces in three central municipal associations: the German Association of Cities and Towns (3,200 municipalities), the German Association of Towns and Municipalities (for municipalities and towns belonging to districts - 11,000 smaller, medium-sized and large municipalities via the 17 state associations) and the German Association of Counties (294 counties). They represent the interests of the districts, cities and municipalities vis-à-vis other political actors. Although they do not have a qualified right to be heard or a right to participate in the shaping of legislation according to Article 28 in the Basic Law, some Länder have guaranteed them participation in legislative procedures. All municipal umbrella organisations have cultural committees (in the case of the Association of Towns and Municipalities in combination with the school and sports departments).
A legally regulated general financial equalisation system between the Länder and municipalities exists in all Länder. In addition to the general financial allocations, half of the federal states also have earmarked allocations for cultural tasks, especially for theatre funding, and in some cases also for museums, libraries and music schools. The Cultural Area Act in Saxony is of particular importance here. It was passed in 1993 for ten years, after which it was extended for a limited period. In 2008, the law was extended by at least 86.7 million euros. These are allocated to the five rural and three urban cultural areas for the promotion of regionally and nationally significant cultural institutions and cultural activities. In 2011/2012 it was last amended and the funding of the Saxony State Theatre (Landesbühne Sachsen), until then a free state task, was integrated into the Cultural Areas Act.
Last update: February, 2022
In addition to the cultural policy and promotion of the public sector, there is extensive and diverse cultural work and promotion carried out by public and private radio and television stations, institutions of the economy and other social groups (churches, trade unions, associations), by civic organisations (initiatives, associations) and by private institutions.
This network in the intermediary sector between the state authorities and the cultural scene is indispensable as a complementary sector to the state sector for a lively culture in civil society. The diversity of cultural institutions (plurality of institutions) is a structural element of the German constitutional law on culture. Commercial cultural activities also play an essential role in the nation's cultural life.
As a rule, there is no organised cooperation or coordination of funding activities between this diverse network of non-governmental activities and "the state". However, there are more and more examples at the federal, state and municipal levels of public cultural administrations working with arms length bodies to implement their funding programmes or to ensure the sponsorship of cultural institutions.
In the cultural (political) field, there are numerous associations active nationwide as strong actors of civil society.
The Association for Cultural Policy (Kulturpolitische Gesellschaft) and the German Cultural Council (Deutscher Kulturrat) are to be mentioned as cross-sectoral associations. The Kulturpolitische Gesellschaft is a network of around 1 500 people and organisations interested in and committed to cultural policy, including from the fields of cultural policy and administration, cultural practice, science, art, cultural education and training, socio-culture and journalism. It advocates a publicly accountable, democratic cultural policy that is actively shaped at all political levels, ensures cultural diversity and artistic freedom and enables as many people as possible to have access to art and culture. The German Cultural Council is the umbrella organisation of the federal cultural associations. It is supported by eight sections (music, performing arts and dance, literature, visual arts, building culture and monument culture, design, media as well as socio-culture and cultural education), which in turn are made up of a total of 264 federal associations. Its aim is to introduce cross-sectoral issues into the cultural policy discussion at all levels throughout Germany and to stand up for freedom of art, publication and the media. /
In addition, there are a large number of sector-specific cultural associations, such as:
- the German Library Association (Deutscher Bibliotheksverband) with its 2 100 members representing 9 000 libraries in Germany;
- the Federal Association of Visual Artists (Bundesverband Bildender Künstlerinnen und Künstler e. V.) as an umbrella organisation via the regional associations in which more than 10 000 artists are organised;
- the Federal Association for Cultural Education for Children and Young People (Bundesvereinigung Kulturelle Kinder- und Jugendbildung) as an umbrella association for cultural education in Germany, in which over 50 institutions, professional associations and state associations have joined forces;
- the Federal Association of Youth Art Schools and Cultural Education Institutions (Bundesverband der Jugendkunstschulen und kulturpädagogischen Einrichtungen) which represents over 400 youth art schools and cultural education institutions nationwide via its state associations;
- the Federal Association of the Performing Arts (Bundesverband Freie Darstellende Künste), which as an umbrella association, represents the interests of its 2 300 members via its state associations and associated associations;
- Bundesverband Soziokultur as an umbrella organisation in which more than 600 cultural centres and initiatives are members;
- Deutscher Bühnenverein as an association representing the interests and employers of theatres and orchestras, uniting 210 theatres (state and municipal theatres, state theatres and private theatres) and 31 independent symphony orchestras as well as other members;
- Deutsche Museumsbund as an association representing the interests of more than 1 000 museums and their employees.
In addition, there are other associations of actors from business, the churches, trade unions, etc. These include the Federal Network for Civic Engagement (Bundesnetzwerk Bürgerschaftliches Engagement, BBE) as an association of actors from civil society, business and working life, from the state, politics, media and academia who have joined forces to promote civic engagement.
Last update: February, 2022
In view of the cultural policy autonomy of the Länder - and also of the municipalities - the scope and focus of cultural support can vary greatly from Land to Land and from municipality to municipality. Although there are numerous committees at the various levels of cultural policy, binding agreements in the form of committee resolutions or binding recommendations are extremely rare in the cultural sector. The exchange of experience - and to a certain extent voluntary self-coordination - is ensured at the level of the Länder by the Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs of the Länder in the Federal Republic of Germany (KMK) and, under its umbrella, specifically by the Conference of Ministers of Culture.
A similar structure exists at the municipal level. Here, it is the umbrella organisations (German Association of Cities, German Association of Towns and Municipalities, German Association of Counties) that advise on special topics of supra-regional importance at state and federal level in their specialist departments and cultural committees and pass them on as recommendations to the local authorities.
Coordination between the Länder and their municipalities on cultural policy issues is handled differently. In addition to bilateral contacts between the respective Ministry of Culture and individual municipalities, discussions are sought between the municipal umbrella organisations and the Ministry on issues of nationwide significance. In some Länder (e.g. North Rhine-Westphalia), cultural secretariats have been set up by the municipalities to facilitate cooperation at supraregional level. In other Länder, this goal is pursued by means of regional cultural conferences.
The coordinated integration of cultural policy into other policy fields and overarching development planning is also pursued very differently at the various levels of cultural policy action. However, it can be observed that with the increasingly scarce funds at all levels resources, the willingness to coordinate goals and the use of resources is growing.
Last update: February, 2022
Over the past few years, the Federal Government, the federal states (Länder) and the municipalities have increasingly been handing over direct responsibility for running cultural facilities and programmes. This organisational restructuring of the cultural sector is not only strongly advocated by the state but also favoured by representatives of the business sector and groups in society, provided it does not involve an abdication of the state from its responsibility to ensure financing.
In institutionalising them, new models of sponsorship are favoured without the public sector withdrawing from the responsibility for guaranteeing and financing. A distinction must be made between two strategies:
- the partial detachment of cultural institutions from the obligations of budgetary and public service law and the administrative structures of municipalities and the state by choosing a different legal form such as a limited liability company or a foundation. However, the assumption that a change of legal form is also associated with a reduction in public funding must be contradicted by all experience; and
- the transfer of tasks (e.g. allocation of public funds, maintenance of facilities) to civil society institutions (usually foundations, associations). This strategy of working with intermediary organisations is mainly found at federal and state level.
Irrespective of these development trends, which certainly justify an upgrading of civil society actors or the third sector, it must be noted, however, that most municipal cultural institutions are still integrated into the structures and hierarchies of public administration.
The transfer of public tasks to private sponsors in the cultural sector began in Germany as early as the 19th century. Important nationally and internationally renowned cultural institutes such as the Bach Archive in Leipzig, the Beethoven House in Bonn, the Archive of German Literature in Marbach, the Goethe Museum in Frankfurt am Main, the Weimar Classic Foundation in Weimar, and the National Museum for German Art and Culture in Nuremberg are privately run but supported with public funds from all three levels of government. Many of these institutions are united in the Arbeitskreis selbständiger Kultur-Institute (ASKI).
Last update: February, 2022
Table 1: Cultural institutions, by sector and domain
|Domain||Cultural institutions (subdomains)||Total||Public sector||Private sector||Mixed ownership|
||Number (year)||Trend last 5 years (In %)||Number (year)||Trend last 5 years (In %)||Number (year)||Trend last 5 years (In %)||Number (year)||Trend last 5 years (In %)|
|Cultural heritage||Cultural heritage sites (recognised)||About 1 million (2018)*||nda #||nda #||
|Museums||Museum institutions||6 834 (2019)**||+ 7.25%**||3 483 (2019)**||+ 3.3%**||3 094 (2019)**||+ 12.6%**||257 (2019)**||+ 1.6%**|
|Visual arts||exhibition halls||733 (2019)**||+8.1%**||nda #||
||art galeries||340 (2022)***||nda #||nda #||
|Archives||Archive institutions||nda #||
||Federal archives: 25 locations; Federal state archives: 58 locations (2016) ****||nda #||nda #||
||141 with 807 locations (2019) *******||+-0||
||orchestras ##||121 (2020) *******||-2.5%||
|Libraries||Libraries||Public 6 728 / Scientific 240 (2020) *****||Public –8.1%; Scientific –4.5%*****||
|Audio-visual||Cinemas||1 728 venues / 4 926 auditoriums (2020)******||Venues:: +4.9% / Auditoriums:: +5.0% ******||nda #||
|Interdisciplinary||Socio-cultural centres / cultural houses||728 (2019) ********||nda #||nda #||
||929 (2017) ******||
||340 (2016) ******||
||Art Schools||400 (2021) *********||nda #||
* Statistische Ämter des Bundes und der Länder (2018): Spartenbericht Baukultur, Denkmalschutz, Denkmalpflege, Wiesbaden: Eigenverlag
** Institut für Museumsforschung (2018): Statistische Gesamterhebung an den Museen der Bundesrepublik Deutschland für das Jahr 2017, Berlin: Selbstverlag und Institut für Museumsforschung (2018): Statistische Gesamterhebung an den Museen der Bundesrepublik Deutschland für das Jahr 2012, Berlin: Selbstverlag and own calculations
*** Bundesverband Deutscher Galerien und Kunsthändler: this is the number of members of the asociation
**** Statistische Ämter des Bundes und der Länder (2017): Museen, Bibliotheken, Archive, Wiesbaden: Eigenverlag
***** Deutsche Bibliotheksstatistik 2018, Deutsche Bibliothekstatistik 2013 and own calculations
****** Filmförderungsanstalt 2018
******** Bundesamt für Statistik (2020): Spartenbericht Soziokultur und Kulturelle Bildung, Wiesbaden: Eigenverlag
********* Bundesverband der Jugendkunstschulen und kulturpädaogischer Einrichtungen
# nda = no data available
# # Orchestra: This is the total number of independent cultural orchestras, cultural orchestras integrated into the theatre and broadcast orchestras
Last update: February, 2022
In recent years, numerous types and models of partnerships between public cultural institutions and private firms emerged in Germany. However, most cultural institutions, including the largest ones, are still exclusively state-run. Permanent co-operation and cofinancing arrangements have been reached mainly for smaller institutions at local level, i.e. between local businesses and the respective municipal administration. There are now more and more examples of institutionalised cooperation in the realisation and maintenance of larger institutions such as the Pinakothek der Moderne in Munich and the NRW-Forum Kultur und Wirtschaft in Düsseldorf, where the federal states (Länder), the municipalities and private firms / patrons are permanent sponsors.
The wealth of vibrant cultural institutions in all of Germany's regions – a number of which are renowned throughout Europe – is a product of German history. Following each profound societal change (in 1918, in 1945 and – in eastern Germany – in 1990), the federal states (Länder) and the municipalities reaffirmed their responsibility for theatres, orchestras and museums.
While the most important public theatres and museums still enjoy fairly stable means of public support, the increasing financial problems of the federal states (Länder) and the municipalities have prompted, in recent years, an ongoing nationwide debate on a reform of public cultural institutions– as well as of wage and salary scales at theatres and orchestras (whose levels are sometimes overestimated in public debates).
Last update: February, 2022
Article 32 (1) of the Basic Law states: "The maintenance of relations with foreign states is a federal responsibility". According to this article, the federal authorities and parliament are responsible for foreign cultural policy.
Nevertheless, the structures of the Federal Foreign Cultural and Educational Policy (AKBP) reflect the social diversity and independence of the actors: the Federal Government creates the framework conditions for cultural and educational work abroad through strategic guidelines, and the implementation is then carried out by partner or intermediary organisations. The most important partners include the Goethe Institute, the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), the Institute for Foreign Cultural Relations (ifa), the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (AvH), the German UNESCO Commission (DUK), the Central Agency for Schools Abroad, the Pedagogical Exchange Service, the German Archaeological Institute, the Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training and the House of World Cultures. The cultural mediators and partner organisations design their programmes and projects largely on their own responsibility and thus enjoy a greater degree of independence and freedom than in state-organised models. On the ground, the German missions abroad provide coordinating support and thus strengthen the coherence of the various partners.
The following actors operate within the Federal Government: the Federal Foreign Office formulates and coordinates the political guidelines for setting priorities for foreign cultural policy. The Federal Commissioner for Culture and the Media is responsible for a number of important areas, such as for example, foreign broadcasting or the restitution of works of art ("looted art"). The Federal Ministry of Education and Research also operates in the AKBP. Other federal ministries, such as the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth, as well as the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture, and the Federal Ministry of the Interior, for Construction and Home Affairs, are also active in foreign cultural policy, albeit to a much lesser extent than the Federal Foreign Office and the Commissioner for Culture and the Media.
Since 1969, there has been an intermittent committee or subcommittee on foreign cultural policy in the German Bundestag (Bundestag), currently (also in the current 20th legislative term) as a subcommittee of the "Foreign Affairs" committee. In the first half of the 1970s, there was also an Enquete Commission on Foreign Cultural Policy.
The Federal Foreign Office publishes an annual report on foreign cultural and educational policy. In the current, 24th Report of the Federal Government on AKBP, the following priorities were listed for 2020: Promoting Europe as a cultural project, intensifying communication work at home and abroad, especially in cooperation with Deutsche Welle, expanding the network of intermediary and partner organisations, and strengthening cultural cooperation with Africa. In 2020, the AKBP's expenditure amounted to 2.2 billion euros. 59.2 per cent of this was allocated to the Federal Foreign Office (For comparison, 2018: AKBP expenditure: 1.877 billion, of which 56.6 per cent AAhttps://www.auswaertiges-amt.de/blob/2232858/8976f6ea5c1c60e8ef6fcea19e0060a1/akbp-bericht2018-data.pdf).
In its Coalition Agreement 2021, the Federal Government strengthened the importance and tasks of the ACP: "International cultural policy is the third pillar of our foreign policy, it connects societies, cultures and people, and is our offer for a community of values and responsibility in Europe and worldwide. We will further strengthen it, make it more flexible, coordinate it across departmental boundaries and coordinate it closely at the European level. We will adopt comprehensive sustainability, climate, diversity and digital strategies". (Coalition Agreement, p. 128) Other agreements for cultural relations and education policy set out in the Coalition Agreement include:
- Support for threatened scientists and artists and the establishment of a programme for journalists and defenders of freedom of expression.
- the strengthening of intermediary organisations
- enabling the establishment of joint cultural institutions between European partners in third countries
- supporting the development of a digital European cultural platform
- supporting the city of Chemnitz in its preparations for the Capital of Culture 2025
- Strengthening relations between the cities
- Support for cooperation between museums within the framework of the Museum Agency
- Reconciliation agreement with Namibia as a prelude to a joint process of coming to terms with the past
- Strengthening multilateral forums such as UNESCO, G7 and G20 + Expanding own measures such as KulturGutRetter against the backdrop of the climate crisis
- Further development of the network of schools abroad and the PASCH network
- Modernisation of strategic communication within the European network and in cooperation with Deutsche Welle Orientation towards new target groups and setting new regional priorities. (See ibid., p. 128f.)
The corresponding agencies of the Länder cooperate closely with the Federal Government in the field of foreign cultural policy. Municipalities and civil society groups are also actively involved in the field of cultural work abroad.
Last update: February, 2022
International cooperation in the cultural field has gained importance in recent years.
In February 2007, the German Bundestag adopted the UNESCO Convention for the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions and, at the same time, the UNESCO Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage (UNESCO Convention on the Protection of Cultural Property) (see also Chapter 4.2.2). In December 2012, the Federal Cabinet decided on Germany's accession to the UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage.
Europe-wide cooperation in the field of culture has developed since 1992 on the basis of Article°151°ECT of the Treaty establishing the European Community, continued in Article°128° of the Maastricht Treaties and finally in Article° 167° of the Lisbon Treaty. Member States work together to adopt a common legal framework, such as Directive 96/100/EC on the return of cultural objects unlawfully removed from the territory of a Member State and through specific programmes such as Creative Europe ("Creative Europe", current funding period 2021- 2027). The "Creative Europe" programme is divided into the sub- programmes CULTURE and MEDIA, and there is also the overarching funding area CROSS SECTOR, which supports cooperation between the member states as well as with third countries.
"The primary objectives of Creative Europe are: To give projects a European added value in order to increase their international success, to promote the professionalisation of actors on international terrain and to develop new audiences." With a budget of €2.44 billion for the current period 2021-2027, the budget has been significantly increased by almost €1 billion (previous period 2014-2020: €1.46 billion). The Culture sub-programme will receive 804 million euros (33% of the total budget). The respective national contact points (Creative Europe Desks) provide information on EU funding. The CED CULTURE, based in Bonn, provides information on the CULTURE sub-programme. Four regional desks (Potsdam / Berlin, Düsseldorf, Hamburg and Munich) provide advice on MEDIA. The CULTURE programme comprises the main funding areas European Cooperation Projects, European Platforms, European Networks and Literary Translations. In addition, there are specific measures to reward and promote excellence and creativity, such as the "European Capitals of Culture" action and the European Heritage Label.
A review of the past funding period (2014-2020) is provided in the online brochure "Creative Europe CULTURE. An evaluation of the EU cultural funding programme 2014-2020" (https://kultur.creative- europe-desk.de/fileadmin/2_Publications/CED-Culture_Online-Broschuere_inkl_Bundeslandlisten.pdf).
According to this, 199 German organisations participated in 225 projects funded by the programme between 2014-2020. This means that the German cultural and creative sector benefited from a total of 32.3 million euros during the seven-year programme period.
In addition to "CREATIVE EUROPE", there are other EU programmes from which cultural operators can apply for funding. Information is available on the website www.europa-foerdert- kultur.info. The 13 programmes include, for example, the programme "Citizens, Equality, Rights and Values", whose German contact point, based in Bonn, advises applicants on the programme of the same name. Likewise, the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation "Horizon" contains several areas in which culture is included as a European cross-cutting theme.
The Institute for Foreign Cultural Relations (ifa) has set up its own research programme "Culture and Foreign Policy", in which experts conduct research on questions of foreign cultural and educational policy (ACP), especially in the thematic focus areas: Europe, controversial concepts of the ACBP, civil society as a space for action, international cultural education and art and cultural exchange (see: www.ifa.de/forschung/forschungsprogramm-kultur-und-aussenpolitik/).
 Current publications are e.g.: Weigel, Sigrid (2019): Transnationale Auswärtige Kulturpolitik – Jenseits der Nationalkultur; Blumenreich, Ulrike / Löding, Ole (2017): Synergien auswärtiger Kulturpolitik im Inland am Beispiel von Kommunen.
Last update: February, 2022
In addition to the long-standing international town twinning arrangements, there are now bi- or multilateral partnerships of regional actors (e.g. municipal communities) with comparable territorial authorities of other states in many German states, primarily but not exclusively in Europe. This cross-border cultural exchange is particularly lively in the so-called "Euregios" (Germany is involved in 26 European regions),
e.g. EuRegio Saar-Lor-Lux-Rhine, Euregio Egrensis, Euroregion Erzgebirge e. V., Euroregion Elbe / Labe and the Euroregion Spree-Neiße- Bober.
Since the 1970s, many private actors, professional associations (e.g. theatres, museums or libraries) and informal networks have begun to develop their own international relations and exchange programmes. The Federal Foreign Office is not directly involved in funding such programmes, but allocates most of its funds to mediators of foreign cultural policy such as the Goethe-Institut and the Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen. The Goethe-Institut promotes knowledge of the German language abroad and fosters international cultural cooperation through, among other things, cultural events and festival contributions in the fields of film, dance, music, theatre, exhibitions, literature and translation. In addition, the Federal Foreign Office supports the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), the funding organisation for the international exchange of students and academics, including its "Berlin Artists Programme", which awards scholarships to foreign artists from the fields of visual arts, literature, music and film for one-year stays in Berlin. In addition, the Federal Foreign Office supports larger cultural projects of considerable importance to foreign cultural policy and with an international impact. In addition to artistic quality, it attaches particular importance to regional priorities, sustainability and cooperation in partnership with institutions and personalities in the host country. Another important area of work is the support of cultural projects from developing countries and the participation of artists from these countries in cultural events in Germany. Of particular importance in this area is the work of the House of World Cultures in Berlin, which is also supported by funding from the Federal Foreign Office for jointly organised programmes that include concerts, readings, exhibitions and symposia.