2. Current cultural affairs
Last update: March, 2020
The collapse of the system in Eastern Europe and the unification of Germany in 1989/90 produced new cultural tasks, both within the Federal Republic of Germany and in its relations with European neighbours. The difficult financial situation of all public funds has been a determining factor in cultural policy discussions on the municipal and federal state(Länder)level since the mid-1990s, and increasingly so since the turn of the century.
In the past ten years, discussions and actions (on the part of both public and private actors) have focused on:
- support for culture institutions in the new capital city Berlin;
- Enquete-Commission “Culture of Germany”;
- passing of new laws in the fields of copyright and taxation for foundations as well as re-enforcing social insurance provisions for self-employed artists;
- cultural education;
- cultural industries;
- repatriation of unlawfully seized cultural assets;
- UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions;
- design of the cultural infrastructure;
- concept-based cultural policy in the federal states (Länder);
- Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP);
- sale of art objects owned by the federal states;
- Humboldt Forum;
- provenance research;
- culture and climate / sustainability;
- culture and home(land).
The current priorities of the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media are women in culture and media - asserting equal opportunities, cultural education and integration, art in exile, dealing with cultural assets from colonial contexts and film promotion.
During the 1990s, the Federal German Parliament (Deutscher Bundestag), the Council made up of representatives from the 16 federal states (Länder) (Bundesrat) and the Bundesregierung (Federal Government) all moved to Germany's new capital city Berlin. The transfer of power from Bonn (former capital) to Berlin underscored the national cultural significance of the new capital and led to a growing commitment on the part of the Federal government to support cultural life in the city. In 2001, the Capital Cultural Contract was concluded between the federal government and Berlin, in which the takeover of Berlin institutions by the federal government was agreed (e.g. Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Akademie der Künste, Deutsche Kinemathek, Berliner Festspiele) and the stipulation of an annual 10 million EUR subsidy to the Capital Cultural Fund. The most recent version of the Capital of Culture Treaty came into force on January 1st 2018. It contains the increase of the resources for the Capital Cultural Fund to 15 million EUR annually.
Streamlining and optimising cultural funding Commission of Enquiry “Culture in Germany”
The 2007 final report of the Commission of Enquiry "Culture in Germany", set up by the Federal German Parliament (Deutscher Bundestag), resulted in many debates about cultural policy at the federal level in subsequent years. Eleven members of the Bundestag and eleven experts in cultural policy had produced a comprehensive report, which runs to more than 500 pages, based on numerous expert reports, opinions and hearings. Along with a status description of the arts, of support for culture and of the position of artists in Germany, the report contains over 400 recommendations for improving cultural support and the legal framework for the various cultural fields and the various stakeholders in cultural policy. In 2017 - on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the publication of the final report - a cultural policy debate took place on the status of the implementation of the recommendations for action.
Since 1998, the Federal Government has launched legal reforms in the area of Foundation Law (especially with regard to taxation), Copyright Law and the Law Governing Social Insurance for Artists. In summer and autumn 2006, a Draft Bill for New Regulations on Copyright Law, submitted by the Federal Government, caused a great deal of debate with respect to payments to artists. It has enacted legislation to safeguard the system of fixed book prices and has extended support to the film sector under the Federal Film Promotion Act.
In 2006, the Federal Government agreed on a new measure of support for the film industry, which came into effect at the beginning of 2007. In November 2008, the German Bundestag ratified the amendment to the Film Support Act. The sixth amendment to the Film Support Act was adopted in the summer of 2010, the seventh amendment to the Film Support Act was introduced in summer 2014.
The Federal Government has broadened the scope of support for: research on German culture and history in Eastern and Central Europe under section 96 of the Federal Expellees Act;and memorials commemorating the victims of dictatorship.
In 2009 and 2010, the public debate on Copyright Law enlarged and intensified due to the new possibilities of digital production and reproduction, not limited to music. A flat rate on culture was debated, but rejected by the parties of the governing coalition. The ancillary copyright for publishers, an act to amend the copyright law, entered into force in March 2013. In April 2019 - after two and a half years of intensive discussion - the Copyright Directive was adopted, in which the copyright regulations were adapted for the digital market. The ancillary copyright law for press publishers and the copyright responsibility of platforms were particularly discussed.
Recently, in some federal states (Länder) specific acts on libraries came into force, in September 2008 in Thuringia and two years later in Saxony-Anhalt and Hessen. In Rhineland- Palatinate, a library law was adopted in 2014, in Schleswig-Holstein the state cabinet agreed on adopting a draft law concerning libraries in November 2015. For the first time, in December 2014, North Rhine-Westphalia implemented a culture law on a federal state level (Landeskulturgesetz) – a law which does not only concern a certain cultural field but the entire cultural sector. The discussion about those and other acts supporting culture also reached the parliaments of some other federal states (Länder) (see also chapter 4.2).
In January 2015, the protection law regarding the social insurance provisions for self-employed artists (Künstlersozialabgabensicherungsgesetz) came into force . In Autumn 2015, the draft law concerning the amendments of the Act to Protect Cultural Property against Removal was adopted by the Federal Cabinet (see also chapter 4.1.6). Furthermore, theFederal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection presented a draft bill regarding an Act to Enhance the Enforcement of the Authors and Artists' claim to adequate Remuneration and the Federal Cabinet adopted the draft of a Collecting Societies Act.
UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions
The process to develop the UNESCOConvention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions as an international legal instrument has been supported by the German Commission for UNESCO with active support from civil society actors, the German Bundestag and the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media. The initiative was paramount in raising awareness of the inherent dangers to public support for culture which could arise from WTO international trade agreements (e. g. GATS) or the EU Services Directive. The Federal Government of Germany signed the convention in September 2006. The German Parliament passed the convention on February 1st 2007. Germany provided its first report on the implementation of the convention in April 2012. It was created under the auspices of the relevant ministries, the Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs of the Länder (KMK), the German Association of Cities and the German Commission for UNESCO.
The German Commission formed a Coalition for Cultural Diversityinvolving civil society in 2004 to verbalise the German position on the Convention. This coalition, made up of experts from culture, associations, political parties, the economy, municipalities, public institutions, research and journalism, accompanied the UNESCO Convention. The coalition provided, among other things, a White Paper in December 2009 with recommendations for cultural policy in Germany and Europe regarding the implementation of the Convention. Furthermore, in 2010 the publication Mapping Cultural Diversity was presented which included good-practice examples from around the world regarding the implementation of the Convention as one of the projects of the U40- Programme Cultural Diversity 2030.
In February 2018, the UNESCO commissions of Austria, Germany, Switzerland and Luxembourg presented the UNESCO World Report 2018 KULTURPOLITIK NEU GESTALTEN - Promoting creativity, advancing developments in cultural policy. The series of World Reports accompanies the implementation of the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions of UNESCO with monitoring. It shows in concrete terms how this implementation process contributes to achieving the sustainable development goals of the United Nations' Agenda 2030 (Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs). It offers recommendations for future policy-making, which also address necessary cultural policy adjustments to the rapidly changing digital environment, taking into account human rights and fundamental freedoms.
Design of the cultural infrastructure – the Kulturinfarkt (infarct of culture)?
In March 2012 four renowned authors from cultural administration and cultural management – Armin Klein, Pius Knüsel, Stephan Opitz und Dieter Haselbach – published the book Kulturinfarkt. Too much of everything and the same everywhere (Kulturinfarkt. Von allem zu viel und überall das Gleiche). They plead for a radical restructuring of cultural policy and propose to halve the existing cultural infrastructure and to redistribute savings. This publication has gained a lot of publicity, created many – often very emotional – debates and initiated several events and further publications.
Concept based cultural policy in the federal states
Several federal states have gained attention for their new cultural policy structures and programmes over the last years. Most of the 16 states have concrete initiatives for a more concept-based and systematic cultural policy. For this, they use different elements: Saxony-Anhalt carried out a cultural convention that presented its findings in February 2013, and Brandenburg presented its Cultural Policy Strategy 2012 in September 2012. Lower Saxony started working on a concept for culture development in 2011. Thuringia published a culture concept at the end of 2012. Following Bavaria, North Rhine-Westphalia, Saxony and Lower Saxony and Schleswig-Holstein, Berlin presented a culture (funding) report in 2012. Given the topicality of the issue, the Kulturpolitische Gesellschaft organised a nationwide congress on concept-based cultural policy in June 2013 with approximately 500 participants.
Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP)
At the G8 summit in Ireland in June 2013, the countries involved decided on the implementation of a free trade agreement (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership TTIP) between Europe and the USA, aiming on strengthening the economy of the transatlantic alliance. At an early stage, the German Cultural Council (Deutscher Kulturrat)already pointed out the impact of TTIP on the cultural sector and requested an exception for the domains of culture and media.
Central points of criticism uttered by many stakeholders from the cultural field, and from nature conservation and environmental protection – besides the lack of transparency during the negotiations – concerned the equal treatment of cultural and regular economic goods, since it does not take into account satisfactorily the dual nature of the concept of culture, as outlined in the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions. Therefore, critics fear restrictions to cultural diversity. Other concerns are the planned investment protection, the implementation of arbitration courts and certainly the fear of German cultural funding being misinterpreted as a restriction to free trade.
In July 2014, the European citizens' initiative Stop TTIP was founded. Its 150 stakeholders from 18 European countries also included German associations such as the German Cultural Council (Deutscher Kulturrat) and other associations for environmental and consumer protection. This citizens' initiative was rejected by the European Commission. After that, the initiative appealed to the European Court of Justice against the rejection. The association, now comprising 250 organisations, launched a petition/signature campaign in autumn 2014 which was handed over to the Commission President in December and contained over 1 million signatures. The World Day for Cultural Diversity (May 21st) was transformed into the Day against TTIP in 2015. On 10 October 2015, a large-scale Stop TTIP - demonstration took place in Berlin and assembled more than 250 000 protesters. Since 2013, there have been various opinions within the cabinet concerning TTIP. Therefore, in October 2015, the Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel clarified in a position paper that the government committed to advocate a treaty "that will not contain regulations which could entail restrictions to the diversity of culture and media in Germany". In May 2017, the European Court of Justice ruled on the European Citizens' Initiative case and declared the Commission's decision rejecting the registration of the proposed European Citizens' Initiative. The self-organised citizens' initiative, which was founded in response to the rejection of the official European Citizens' Initiative, collected 3.2 million signatures against TTIP and CETA between October 2014 and October 2015 and achieved a quorum in 23 Member States.
Sale of art objects owned by the federal states
The auction of two paintings by Andy Warhol from the holding of WestSpiel (a casino operator) in 2014 has initiated a debate on the sale of art objects owned by the federal states. The owner of the casino is the federal state North Rhine-Westphalia. Due to changes within the gaming market, the state-owned casino operator found itself in a difficult financial situation and aimed on rehabilitating those casinos which were making a loss by selling the Warhol paintings. The Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media (BKM) criticised the sale of art objects "to plug holes in the budget". The discussion rose up again when it came to be known that Portigon as the legal successor of the WestLB (federal state bank) was planning to sell its art collection (its focus lies on artists from North Rhine-Westphalia since 1960, inter alia Joseph Beuys). After a subsequently held round-table discussion, the intended sale was not realised.
In June 2013, Federal President Gauck set the foundation stone for the reconstruction of the Schloss Berlin, the former residence of the Prussian Kings. Upon completion in 2019, the collections of non-European art and culture of Berlin's museums (such as the Ethnological Museum and the Museum of Asian Arts) shall be presented there under the name Humboldt Forum. The topping out ceremony was celebrated in June 2015.
In 2002, an international commission of experts had already submitted an utilisation concept for the Stadtschloss (City Palace) and recommended to install a Humboldt Forum – as a place for dialogue between the world cultures in the center of the capital city – also in conjunction with the collections of European Art on the Museum Island. The Humboldt Forum was and is the subject of numerous debates, some of them very emotional, including questions of location (including the demolition of the Palace of the Republic of the GDR, provenance, self-dramatisation, spatial separation from the European ethnological collections, cost increases, etc.). Following postponements of the opening, the Humboldt Forum is now scheduled to open its doors in 2020.
Provenance research /repatriation of unlawfully seized cultural assets
Since the fall of the Iron Curtain, the international discussions concerning the repatriation of cultural assets that have been taken unlawfully from their owners during World War II led to concrete restitution of artworks. The Federal Government (Foreign Office, Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media) – in coordination with the Federal States (Länder) – negotiates with many European neighbours. The Consultative Committee in conjunction with the restitution of Nazi-confiscated cultural assets, especially from Jewish collections, is working since 2003 and serves as mediator if problems occur in the course of restitution claims. Members of the committee are scientists and prominent personalities. In autumn 2006, a far-reaching debate started about the restitution of artworks caused by the returning of a famous painting by Ernst Ludwig Kirchner that was handed out to the heirs of the former owner by the Berlin Government. It was claimed that the former owner was forced to sell it in the 1930s. Subsequently, a number of similar cases became known. Museums intensified the research as to the origin of their artworks (provenance research), supported by special funds. On federal level, an office for provenance research was established at the Institute for Museum Research of the Foundation of Prussian Cultural Heritage in the beginning of 2003 to support museums in their research concerning Nazi-confiscated cultural assets.
In November 2013, the debate about restitution an returning unlawfully removed cultural assets once again arose by the announcement of the discovery or artworks in Schwabing comprising more than 1 400 works, that the police found in the apartment of Cornelius Gurlitt, son of the art dealer Hildebrand Gurlitt. In the same month a Task Force for creating transparency and intensifying the provenance research was established by the Bavarian Ministry of Justice (Bayerisches Justizministerium), the Bavarian State Ministry for Education and Cultural Affairs (Bayerisches Kultusministerium), the Federal Ministry of Finance (Bundesfinanzministerium) and the Federal Government Commissioner for Cultural and Media Affairs (BKM). Furthermore, artworks under the suspect of having been unlawfully seized were published on the platform of the central coordination office Magdeburg (Koordinierungsstelle Magdeburg).
In January 2015, the German Lost Art Foundation (Deutsches Zentrum Kulturgutverluste) was established as an institution of the Federal Government (Bund), the Federal States (Länder) and the municipalities (Kommunen). The central coordination office for lost cultural property, the office for provenance research, the temporary Task Force Schwabinger Kulturfund and the office of the Limbach-Commission are united under its roof in Magdeburg. The new institution focuses thematically on Nazi "looted art" as well as the loss of cultural assets under Soviet occupation and in the GDR. Chairman of the board of foundation is the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media. In its second term of office, the Federal Government Commissioner for Cultural and Media Affairs (BKM) will continue to focus on expanding provenance research. In 2018, the BKM has developed a guideline for the handling of collected objects from colonial contexts. In July 2019, the Federal Office for Foreign Restitution became part of the BKM.
Culture and home(land)
In the last 2 years, the topic of home has received a lot of attention in cultural policy. It thus also addresses the different uses of the term in different political camps, but also deals intensively with the entanglements of homeland and culture. For example, as discussed during the 10th Federal Congress of the Association of Cultural Policy (Kulturpolitische Gesellschaft) in Berlin in June 2019: "Should cultural policy include "homeland" as a concept and target category in its programmatic portfolio? Can cultural policy be homeland policy in so far as it is concerned with reaching people who are concerned about their homeland and supporting those who are looking for a home in their search for a home? Which concept of home could provide orientation in this context?" The German Cultural Council (Deutscher Kulturrat) has also put this topic on the agenda, for example as a priority topic in "politik und kultur", in statements and a series of events lasting several years together with the Federation for the Environment and Nature Conservation of Germany (BUND).
Culture and climate / culture and sustainability
For some years now, the issue of sustainability
in culture has gained importance in the cultural policy discourse. In this
context, an ecological deficit in cultural policy is deplored, and a new
understanding of nature-related culture and sustainability is demanded as a key
objective of cultural policy action. At the federal level, a Council for Sustainable
Development and a Sustainability Culture Fund have been established. The
Federal States (Länder) and local authorities are beginning to develop
concepts, as are cultural institutions. The German Cultural Council (Deutscher
Kulturrat) has launched a campaign to network the sustainability discourse
between the environmental and cultural sectors, and the Institute for Cultural
Policy is working intensively on the subject as part of a research project (see
also chapter 2.8).
 In November 2019, the cost estimate was increased to EUR 650 million.
Last update: March, 2020
The normative framework of cultural rights and ethics is laid down in the Basic Law (constitution). Articles 1 to 19 set out the fundamental rights. These include the right to the free development of personality (Article 2), equal rights for men and women (Article 3), freedom of belief (Article 4), freedom of assembly (Article 8) and freedom of association (Article 9).
Article 5 includes freedom of expression in speech, writing and pictures (para. 1), freedom of the press (para. 1), the rejection of censorship (para. 1), and freedom of art, science, research and teaching (para.3). The guarantee of artistic freedom of the Basic Law (Article 5 para. 3) establishes the artistic autonomy and the right of self-administration of cultural institutions and organisations, and their protection from directives and regulations of the state on content. As an objective value decision for the freedom of art, it is also understood as a mandate to the state to actively promote and support it.
There is no national objective for culture in the Basic Law, although there have been various initiatives to include a new article 20b "The state protects and promotes culture", which, however, was not able to prevail. Following a debate among politicians involved in cultural, sports and legal affairs, the inclusion of a national objective for culture in the Basic Law remains controversial.
Last update: March, 2020
Economic and social situation of the artists
As early as 1975, the German government had presented a report on the social situation of artists in Germany. As a reaction, the legislator affirmed that artists and publicists were particularly in need of protection and passed the Artists' Social Security Act. Since then, this artists' social insurance has become a central instrument for supporting the social situation of artists and publicists by creating access to statutory health, nursing and pension insurance. In 1999, the Budget Committee of the German Parliament asked the Federal Government to submit another report on the social situation of artists and the draft amendment to the KSVG. The Federal Government responded to this request with a 55-page report.
The social situation of artists has become a major theme in recent years. Various studies have been published, such as Zur wirtschaftlichen und sozialen Lage in den Kulturberufen (German Cultural Council 2013) and Zur wirtschaftlichen und sozialen Lage der Bildenden Künstlerinnen (BBK 2016). The Cultural Committee of the German Parliament also held a specialist discussion on this topic in 2017, with the aim of improving the framework conditions for the exercise of artistic-creative professions.
In 2013, the international movement "Art but fair" was launched, whose aim is to achieve fair working conditions and appropriate fees in the performing arts and music. The organisation consists of three mutually coordinated non-profit associations in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. The movement aims to raise awareness of the issue by, among other things, publishing studies like Fair working conditions in the performing arts and music? (2016) and developing and implementing a certificate (quality seal) for cultural institutions.
Artistic freedom, as a fundamental right that serves to protect artistic forms of expression, is anchored in Germany in Article 5 (3) of the Basic Law. There it is one of the most protected fundamental rights in the German catalogue of fundamental rights.
In the last two years, there has been an increasing discussion in Germany about the freedom of art. One concrete occasion was the cancellation of the concert of the punk band left-wing Feine Sahne Fischfilet at the Bauhaus in Dessau in November 2018. The director's argumentation was that the design and architecture school, as a UNESCO world cultural heritage site, should not become a venue for political agitation and aggression. The Bauhaus board feared in particular the demonstrations in front of the Bauhaus, which had already been announced by right-wing groups. Numerous actors from politics, cultural practice, the feature pages and civil society took a stand against this decision, including the former director of the Bauhaus, who interpreted the cancellation of the concert as damaging democracy and cultural life in Germany. The band's concert was finally realised at another venue in Dessau.
The discussion of artistic freedom was also prompted by demands by the AfD not to make public funds available for "primarily politically motivated" art and culture, which they represent in party programmes and state parliaments. However, various actors from cultural policy and cultural practice also warn against restricting the freedom of art through "excessive political correctness".
As part of the celebrations for the 70th anniversary of the Basic Law in May 2019, a series of events and media reports also took place on the subject of artistic freedom.
The issue of artistic freedom is at the heart of the Arts Rights Justice programme, which is based at the UNESCO Chair Cultural Policy for the Arts in Development at the University of Hildesheim. From 2017 to 2019, the project examined the persecution of artists and the threat to artistic freedom internationally, offered documents in the form of an online library, organised exchange forums and initiated advocacy activities.
Promoting the mobility of artists
Numerous intermediary organisations (including the Goethe-Institut) and associations have set themselves the goal of supporting the mobility of artists. The interests of visual artists are represented by the International Society of Fine Arts (IGBK), for example, with the information portal “touring-artists”, which contains a wealth of information for mobile visual and performing artists on visas, customs, taxes, social security, etc., and with numerous projects and events on mobility and international exchange.
Last update: March, 2020
Since 2009, the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and Media Affairs, together with two games associations, award a prize for an educationally valuable German Computer game (endowed with 385 000 EUR sponsored by the games associations).
In 2011, the computer games museum in Berlin opened a new permanent exhibition. A beta-version of the German Digital Library (Deutsche Digitale Bibliothek) was launched in November 2012. This portal is the basis to bring all German cultural and science organisations and their digital components together and integrate them in the European digital library Europeana. On March 31st in 2013, the first full version was activated. The German Digital Library provides access to Germany's cultural heritage in digital form. This includes digital collections and indexing information from libraries, archives, museums, cultural heritage offices and media libraries as well as universities and other research institutions. The contents of the German Digital Library include digital representations and derivatives of books, documents, paintings, statues, installations and monuments, all the way through to films and music. Currently it includes 18.3 million objects.
After an Enquete Commission on "Internet and digital society" was working during the 17th legislative period (2009-2013), the German Parliament decided in February 2014 to install a German Parliaments Commission "Digital Agenda". This is the first time that the German Parliament has a permanent formal parliamentary body that focuses on current issues regarding net politics. In August 2014, the Federal Government presented a "Digital Agenda" which aims to enable all people to participate on the chances of the digitalisation and to set framework conditions for living, learning, working and economising in the digital world. The "Digital Agenda" provides guidelines and combines measures on 7 key areas, among them "V: education, science, research, culture and media". In March 2015, Dieter Gorny was appointed as representative for creativity and digital economy.
Last update: March, 2020
Cultural diversity in general
Cultural diversity has become increasingly important in Germany in recent years. This can be seen in a variety of publications, studies, programmes, events and projects by cultural institutions on this topic. In 2013, a separate institution on diversity was established in North Rhine-Westphalia - the Zukunfts-akademie NRW as a centre for diversity in art, culture and cultural education – which, however, ceased to work due to the end of funding in late 2019, with the dossiers and handouts created remaining as a store of knowledge on the academy’s internet platform. Other important players in this area are the Federal Foreign Office, the UNESCO Commission, the Federal Cultural Foundation – regional actors are also increasingly dealing with cultural diversity..
A change from interculture to transculture or diversity can also be seen in the discussion of terms in recent years.
In June 2017, the initiative DIE VIELEN (THE MANY) was launched. Its goal is “to promote international
attitudes, tolerance in all areas of culture and international understanding,
and the promotion of popular education. THE MANY wants to strengthen communication
and opportunities for action among artists, ensembles and actors in the
performing and visual arts. This applies in particular to artists for whom
theatre and art provide means to work on a society that is composed of people
of all skin colours and gender variations, sexual orientations, needs and
abilities, from religious and not religious.” The initiative has launched a Declaration
of the Many, which has now been signed as a declaration in numerous
municipalities and federal states by more than 2,500 cultural institutions as a
signal for an open society against racism, discrimination and national
 For example, Mandel, Birgit (2013): Intercultural Audience Development. Future strategies for publicly funded cultural institutions, Bielefeld: Transcript.
 For example, the programme Living Diversity - Shaping Society by the Bertelsmann Foundation.
 For example, the development of concepts for the diversity-oriented opening of different cultural institutions.
National / international intercultural dialogue
The intercultural dialogue in Germany relates both to conversations within the country (with groups of the population who have a migration background) and those at the international level. In the global context, the most important actors and programmes in Germany are those of foreign cultural policy (see chapter 1.4.): in particular the Goethe Institute, the Institute for Cultural Exchange, (ifa) the House of World Cultures (Haus der Kulturen der Welt), the Federal Foreign Office (AA) and the German UNESCO Commission (DUK). In recent years, debates on the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions have been the focus of the activities of the DUK, which involved a broad alliance of political and social actors (see chapter 1.4.2).
Many cultural institutions of various forms in cities and towns have committed themselves to intercultural dialogue and developed numerous programmes and activities. These activities often link intercultural dialogue with people who have a migration background and live in Germany, with global cultural dialogue, for example intercultural theatre, music and film festivals or the Carnival of Cultures, a parade of different ethnic and cultural groups on the streets of e.g. Berlin, Bielefeld or Frankfurt.
In the last years, the government, especially the Federal Foreign Office (AA), has been setting up some programmes to support trans-national intercultural dialogue. Worth mentioning is the programme "kulturweit" by the German Commission for UNESCO in cooperation with the Federal Foreign Office. Since 2009, this international cultural volunteer service for young adults offers the opportunity to become active in the foreign cultural and educational policy of the Federal Foreign Office for six to twelve months. The places of assignment are situated in developing countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America as well as in Middle and Eastern Europe. The goal of the programme is to strengthen intercultural competencies of young adults but also to contribute to a higher visibility of foreign cultural relations and education policy. "kulturweit" is organised by the German Commission for UNESCO and is realised through its partner organisations in the Foreign Cultural and Educational Policy domiciled in Germany.
In addition, the institutions mentioned in chapter 1.4 are also active in this area. Another important actor is the Federal Cultural Foundation (Bundeskulturstiftung), with many programmes and projects on cross-border intercultural dialogue, for example the Initiative Fellowship International Museum and the 2012 established programme TURN – Funds for German-African Cooperation.
Some private foundations are very engaged as well, such as the Mercator Foundation with its centre for International Affairs and the current thematic cluster on integration or the Bosch Foundation with projects on international understanding. Twelve German foundations, including the Allianz Culture Foundation, the Bertelsmann Foundation and the Volkswagen Foundation, have formed the group Engaged Europeans (Engagierte Europäer), which aims to deepen European integration with several projects. But also regional actors are increasingly active in this field.
The Intercultural Council (Interkultureller Rat) was founded in 1994, bringing together people from different backgrounds and nationalities as well as different societal groups such as labour unions, employers' associations, religious groups, migrant and human rights organisations, municipalities and government branches, representatives from the media, science and sport. The Council initiated round tables and discussion forums and developed and tested pilot projects.
In 2003, the second federal cultural-political congress of the Association for Cultural Policy (Kulturpolitische Gesellschaft) took place in Berlin on the subject of "inter.kultur.politik".
In 2005, an intercultural network Ratschlag Interkultur was established, engaging individuals and institutions. It is coordinated by the Association for Cultural Policy (Kulturpolitische Gesellschaft) and works together with the Commission of UNESCO in Germany. The main projects of the initiative since 2006 are the federal conferences held biennially and the expert symposiums to discuss theoretical and practical issues. In the autumn of 2012, the 4th nationwide conference Diversity: Realities, Concepts, Visions was held in Hamburg. The title emphasises that recently the "diversity approach" has gained more and more significance over the "intercultural approach". The 5th conference 2014 in Mannheim had the title Moving Homelands (Heimaten bewegen), the 6th conference 2017 in Braunschweig Land in Sight. Intercultural visions for today and tomorrow (Land in Sicht. Interkulturelle Visionen für heute und morgen).
The first German Islam Conference took place in 2006. It is a dialogue forum between representatives of the German state and Muslims in Germany. The aim of the long-term dialogue is to promote cooperation and social cohesion. In its first phase from 2006 to 2009, the forum primarily negotiated fundamental questions and developed the legal framework. In its second phase from 2010 to 2013, it was about their implementation and the anchoring of the German Islam Conference in society. In doing so, the conference devoted itself to three thematic complexes: the establishment of an institutionalised cooperation between the state and Muslims, to live gender equality as a common value and the prevention of extremism, radicalisation and social polarisation. The focus of the third period (2014-2017) was strengthening Islamic welfare and social participation, as well as practicing religion and participating in religious law. In its fourth phase, the Islam Conference has repositioned itself: it no longer meets in fixed forums and formats, "but sees itself as the framework and stage for a dialogue and exchange by and with Muslims on the overarching question of how an Islam can and looks like in, from and for Germany". It will have a practical, flexible and open-topic structure.
Since 2009, the Institute for International Relations (ifa) has been awarding the Intercultural Film Award. The award honours films that deal with issues of international understanding, peacekeeping and intercultural dialogue in a particularly substantive and aesthetic manner, and films that generally do not have a distribution in Germany and are therefore often publicly inaccessible in Germany.
The Academy of the Arts of the World was founded in Cologne in 2011 to promote intercultural dialogue within the arts. It gathers well-known artists, musicians, dancers, theorists, authors, curators and other cultural actors from all over the world and from all fields who, as an artist society, determine and shape the programme of the academy.
In January 2019, the Federal Cabinet decided to appoint a commission for integration capability, of which the members are proposed by the Federal Ministry of the Interior, Building and Community, the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs and the Federal Government Commissioner for Migration, Refugees and Integration. The aim of the commission is to describe the economic, labour market, social and demographic framework conditions for integration and to propose standards for how these can be improved. To this end, the commission will submit a report in 2020 and present its recommendations.
Annually on May 21st, Germany celebrates the World Day of Cultural Diversity. In May 2017, the Initiative for Cultural Integration published fifteen theses on the role of culture in living together in a plural, cosmopolitan society.
Last update: March, 2020
Intercultural education is not an official component of general school education. Nevertheless, it does play a part in teaching practice as a cross-disciplinary principle. There is furthermore a growing sensitivity in schools to this issue and, in addition to some regulations for bilingual teaching, there are many projects that use art to address intercultural questions arising in schools.
Intercultural education, in breadth, is carried on primarily by educational institutions (kindergartens, schools, further education establishments). The topic is, however, also gaining importance for cultural policy. Cultural institutions themselves take the initiative on this issue and seek co-operation with schools.
In practice, intercultural programmes are mostly carried out at municipal level, mainly in the larger cities. At the state level, systematic initiatives so far exist only in North Rhine-Westphalia and to some extent in the city states of Hamburg, Berlin and Bremen. At the federal level, in addition to the provision of funding by the Federal Cultural Foundation (Kulturstiftung des Bundes), programmes to counteract xenophobia and right-wing extremism should be mentioned.
The normative framework is defined by the human rights articles established in the Basic Law (Constitution). The focus is on the recognition of difference, development of tolerance, the ability to engage in intercultural dialogue, information about the cultural traditions and values of people of other religions, and the rejection of racism and violence. In the educational institutions' understanding of their role, the command of the German language as "lingua franca" is of crucial importance, in this respect.
Many art and music schools incorporate other cultural traditions and contexts in their work. Art schools for young people, for example, take the immigrant background of their participants as a theme and reach them by artistic means. Music schools have courses which promote the teaching of instruments originating in other cultures (e.g. the Turkish longnecked lute). Conceptually, however, interculturalism as a part of the general school curricula has only just begun.
Many intercultural programmes and activities aim to promote an understanding of other cultural traditions and ways of life, to increase knowledge about basic human and civil rights and to develop humanitarian and democratic values. In this respect, intercultural and democratic skills are mutually dependent.
As part of the increased political efforts to develop practical measures for cultural integration, particular attention will be paid to intercultural education. Concrete stipulations are proposed in several educational plans for the pre-school sector and for primary schools in the individual Federal States (Länder). The German Cultural Council (Deutscher Kulturrat) has also published the cultural policy paper Intercultural Education – A Chance for our Society.
Last update: March, 2020
It is only in recent years that the media became a greater focus of public cultural policy. Only film funding was previously considered to be an object of this policy area. It is administered by the Federal Government and the Federal States (Länder) in order to promote film as a cultural asset and to support the national cultural industry.
Anchoring freedom of opinion in Article 5 of the Basic Law
Article 5 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Germany stipulates that everyone has the right "to freely express and disseminate his or her opinion in word, writing and pictures and to obtain information from generally accessible sources without hindrance. Freedom of the press and freedom of reporting by means of broadcasts and films are guaranteed. There shall be no censorship."
The dual broadcasting system
Television and radio programmes in Germany are produced and broadcasted by both public service broadcasters and private companies. This so-called "dual broadcasting system" was emphasised by the Federal Constitutional Court in its 4th broadcasting decision on radio and television of November 1986. Public service broadcasting in Germany is of particular significance due to its obligation to fulfil the educational mandate and guarantee the independent basic supply of information, education, advice and entertainment; its programmes have to contribute particularly to culture. Private broadcasting, on the other hand, is therefore permissible with a lower basic standard of diversity, since public service broadcasting assumes the task of providing basic services.
The Interstate Broadcasting Agreement and its amendments
The objective of the Interstate Broadcasting Agreement ("Rundfunkstaatsvertrag", 1.RStV 1987, 18th amendment of 2016) is to establish a set of rules concerning public service broadcasting and private broadcasting.
Of particular importance was the 12th Amendment to the Interstate Broadcasting Treaty (2009) with new regulations for the admissibility of the broadcasters' content on the internet. According to these regulations, public broadcasters may no longer make their programmes and accompanying information available for retrieval after the broadcast, as a rule after 7 days. Offerings going beyond this are permitted for longer if they are included in the broadcaster's tele media concept and have passed the so-called three-step test. These include, for example, documentaries and information programmes (duration of offer: 12 months), cultural programmes (up to 5 years) and programmes with cultural history content (unlimited). The 15th Amendment to the Interstate Broadcasting Treaty, which came into force in 2013, brought about a paradigm shift with regard to broadcasting financing: the budget levy was introduced, according to which broadcasting fees were no longer charged per device but per household. In the 19th Amendment to the Interstate Broadcasting Treaty, which came into force in 2016, ARD and ZDF commissioned an online youth service.
On May 1st 2019, the 22nd Amendment to the Interstate Broadcasting Treaty came into force, which reorganises the tele media remit of the public service broadcasters: online offerings are to focus on moving images and sound in order to differentiate themselves from the offerings of press publishers, while at the same time being given more leeway in terms of the duration of their provision.
On December 5th 2019, the Minister Presidents of the Federal States adopted the draft for an Interstate Media Treaty, thus replacing the Interstate Broadcasting Treaty. In future, the Interstate Media Treaty will also apply to so-called media platforms, intermediaries and user interfaces. The text has to be notified to the European Commission and ratified by the federal state parliaments and is expected to come into force in autumn 2020.
Diversity in radio broadcasting
The Interstate Broadcasting Agreement ("Rundfunkstaatsvertrag" of 31 August 1991, 18th amendment of 2016) determines in § 11that in their programme offers, the public service broadcasting "shall provide a comprehensive overview of international, European, national and regional events in all major areas of life" in order to "promote international understanding, European integration and the social cohesion on the federal and state levels". According to § 6 of the Interstate Broadcasting Agreement (18th amendment of 2016), "television broadcasters shall reserve the greater part of total time scheduled for the transmission of feature films, television plays, series, documentaries and comparable productions for European works in accordance with European law". There are nevertheless no official quotas to which the broadcasters must adhere. Culture and media policy in the Federal Republic of Germany has thus far reflected the view that the imposition of quotas – also in regard to certain groups – is an unsuitable instrument for the promotion of European films and television productions.
Culture channels on radio and television
The German television landscape comprises several stations, which mainly
focus on cultural content. In the initial period, the third channels in
particular showed characteristics of cultural programmes. The development of
own cultural channels started in the mid-1980s, such as 3sat (1984), ARTE
(1992) or ZDFkultur (2011), which emerged from ZDFtheaterkanal. ZDFkultur
existed until 2016; in February 2019 ZDFkultur was revived as a digital
offering in the ZDF Media Library. The brand bundles the cultural content of
ZDF, 3sat and arte.
The German radio has as well channels specialised on cultural
programmes, for example hr2 Kultur (1950), WDR 3 (1964), Deutschlandradio
Kultur (1994), SR 2 KulturRadio (1995), SWR2 (1998), kulturradio (2003,
previously RADIOkultur since 1997), ARTE radio (2002) or NDRkultur (2003).
COSMO (until 2016: Funkhaus Europa), one of the international German radio
channels, has recently started to transmit the Refugee Radioat certain times of the day, a special service in English and
Arabic, providing news concerning the current situation in Germany and the
 In July 2018, the Federal Constitutional Court confirmed the constitutionality of the broadcasting contribution in principle. However, it objected to the double payment for second homes and called on the legislator to adapt the current regulations by June 2020.
Last update: March, 2020
German is the official language in the Federal Republic of Germany and the language used in schools, the media and other forms of communication. Maintaining the German language is the task of all groups in society. Learning the German language is also an important prerequisite for the integration. Improvement of the language skills of immigrants and foreign residents is, therefore, a focus of integration efforts. In addition to programmes of the federal states (Länder) and the municipalities, the Federal Government itself supports their language acquisition with a variety of measures. A broad range of courses are also offered by the private sector.
Dialects of the German language are cultivated and promoted on a regional and local basis. The European Charter for Regional or Minority Languagesentered into force in Germany on January 1st 1999. Under this Charter, Niederdeutsch is protected as a regional language, and funding is provided to further its use in the federal states (Länder) where it is spoken.
Minority languages that are protected benefit from funding provided by the Federal Government and the federal states (Länder) in which they are spoken. Languages of the minorities traditionally residing in Germany (i. e. autochthonous minorities) are protected under the Council of Europe Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities including: Danish, North Frisian, Sater Frisian, Upper and Lower Sorbian and the Romani spoken by German Sinti and Roma.
Last update: March, 2020
The issue of gender equality has received more attention in recent years. In June 2016, the study Women in Culture and Media by the German Cultural Council was published, which contains data on the proportion of women in the various branches of culture, on the radio, in training and in management positions, as well as the presentation of the legal instruments of the gender equality policy in Germany and recommendations for action.
The Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media (BKM) has made gender justice in art, culture and the media one of the main concerns of its policy. In the coalition agreement, the government parties undertook to "further develop equality and gender equality in art, culture and the media". This applies to management positions, the appointment of juries and committees as well as decisions on grants or grants. The specific measures include the Round Table Women in Culture in the Media (2016) launched by the BKM, the establishment of a Women in Culture and the Media project office at the German Cultural Council (2017), the establishment of a mentoring programme for women (2018), the issuing of data reports (e.g. How feminine is the cultural industry?), the commissioning of further studies (e.g. Women in Culture and Media: A European Comparison (2017), the family-friendly design of scholarships and prizes (e.g. in the Villa Massimo) and the establishment of an independent trust centre against sexual abuse and violence (2018).
Women artists have founded their own networks and associations to represent their interests and to exchange information. GEDOK, which was founded in 1926 as a community of German and Austrian artists' associations of all art genres, is one of the cross-divisional associations. Its goal today is to present the work and achievements of artists through exhibitions, events, etc. and to improve the special life and work situation of artists. GEDOK is committed to gender-sensitive design of all areas of cultural life. Its instruments include awarding prizes and holding competitions. In addition, there are sector-specific networks such as the BücherFrauen (since 1990), the archive Frau und Musik (since 1979), Pro Quote Regie and Pro Quote Medien (since 2012).
The Gabriele Münter Prize should be highlighted in the price landscape at the federal level. It is awarded by the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citzens, Women and Youth in cooperation with the BBK, GEDOK and the Bonn Women's Museum. It is an art prize endowed with 20,000 EUR for the lifework of professional artists aged 40 and over.
Institutions for promoting equality have also been established at the state and local levels, such as the NRW Women's Cultural Office, founded in 1991. Its aim is to make women more visible, through (among other things) the NRW Artists' Awards, scholarships, the implementation of further training and the publication of studies (e.g. on the participation of women in NRW: Women in art and culture - Between new self-confidence and quota promotion). The world's first women's museum was also founded in Bonn in 1981, and since its existence 3000 works by artists have been shown in more than 700 exhibitions. In the meantime, women's museums have also been opened in Berlin, Bremen and Wiesbaden. Also worth mentioning is the International Women's Film Festival Dortmund Cologne. The festival emerged from the film festivals Femme fatale (Dortmund) and Feminale (Cologne) and was founded in the 1980s and, in addition to the annual international competition, focuses on networking for women of different branches of the film industry.
Last update: March, 2020
In 2009, the United Nations ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. It is the first text with legal character that not only grants people with disabilities creative potential, but also the right to develop it.
At the federal level, in 1981 (the International Year of Disabled People) the Office of the Federal Government Commissioner for Matters Relating to Persons with Disabilities was established as the central contact for the Federal Government in all matters affecting people with disabilities and is assigned to the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs.
The umbrella organisation for representing the interests of artists with impairments in the German-speaking countries (Germany, Austria and Switzerland) was founded in 1989 with the EUCREA Association for Art and Disabilities. It is committed to more diversity in the arts and culture area, develops model projects that should make visible how inclusion can take place in the art and culture business, sensitises artists, cultural institutions, politics and administration for the potential of artists with impairments, encourages cooperation and works on the further development of training opportunities and employment fields.
Since 2015, the BKM has been promoting the Network for Culture and Inclusion at the Remscheid Academy as a dialogue and specialist forum. The network enables the exchange of experiences and approaches from theory and practice, science and research, associations and politics. In 2018, the funding principles for the Placement and Integration programme were amended to support new strategic and methodological approaches in the area of inclusion as well as the transfer of successful projects to other institutions and sectors. In institutions funded by the BKM on a permanent basis, donations are subject to the requirement that people with disabilities should also be able to participate. The BKM also funded the model project Art and Inclusion of the EUCREA Association for Art and Disabilities. The aim was to improve the work and training situation of artists with disabilities and their integration into the cultural scene. The CONNECT - Art in Process project, funded by the German Federal Cultural Foundation, is based on the ARTplus programme and is intended to transfer the model developed there to other cultural institutions. In the film sector, funding by the BKM is tied to the production of an accessible version. The Federal Film Board (Filmförderungsanstalt FFA) has also set up a round table, at which representatives of associations of people with disabilities define new standards for accessible cinemas with cinema operators, distributors and technology companies.
“Too often, however, artists and cultural audiences with disabilities are still left out. A lot has happened here in recent years, e.g. as far as accessibility in large museums and inclusive art education is concerned - but not enough. There is not only a lack of accessible cultural sites, but also of inclusive cultural and media offers, e.g. literature in simple or easy language. People with disabilities are still strongly underrepresented in the cultural sector as actors. In training and at work, the disability is often seen first, not the potential of the applicants.” This is the view of the organisation Aktion Mensch, as published in the dossier Inclusion in Culture and Media.
Last update: March, 2020
The Federal Republic of Germany ratified the Council of Europe's Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities. Under this Convention, which entered into force for Germany on February 1st 1998, the autochthonous (i. e. resident) minorities and ethnic groups with German nationality living in Germany are protected. These are the Danes, the North Frisians, the Sater Frisians, the Sorbs and the German Sinti and Roma. The Federal Government (Bund) and the Federal States (Länder) provide substantial funding to these groups. Preservation of the Sorb cultural and ethnic identity is guaranteed under an interstate agreement concluded between Land Brandenburg and the Freistaat of Saxony on August 28th 1998 (where traditionally the largest settlement of Sorbs is found).
The above groups are distinguished from immigrants and "Germans with an immigrant background". Whereas the above-mentioned indigenous minorities all consist of very small populations (e.g. the Sorbs numbering at most 60 000; Sinti and Roma approx. 70 000; Danish minority 8 – 50 000), immigrants and "Germans with an immigrant background" constitute a considerable proportion of the population living in Germany.
In 2014, about 16.4 million people in Germany had an immigrant background. This corresponded to a share of 20.3% of the total population, an increase of 3% compared to the previous year. Most of the persons with immigrant background had a German passport (56.0%), even in the group of immigrants the share was 46.1%. Compared to 2011 the number of persons with immigrant background has increased by a good 1.5 million people (+ 10.3%).
While Germans with an immigrant background have the same political rights as all other Germans, they still frequently suffer from discrimination in everyday life, at school, in seeking accommodation and in the work-place. Foreigners living in Germany are subject to a variety of regulations. Following the reform of the Law Concerning Foreign Residents (1990) and of Citizenship (2000), the Immigration Law of 2005 was a third major political instrument on the way to acknowledge the Federal Republic as a country of immigration, resulting in an improvement of the situation for people from other cultures and countries living here. Binding regulations for immigration and integration were established for the first time in Germany and were officially approved. This is an important development as many conservative politicians refused for a long time to acknowledge that Germany is a country of immigration. For some years, the integration of people of differing ethnic backgrounds, religious orientation and cultural traditions has been regarded not only as a central task of society but increasingly also as a significant challenge to cultural work and cultural policy. Meanwhile, a very diverse intercultural practice has evolved, but in this field there is still a considerable need for further development in many large cultural institutions such as theatres, museums and symphony orchestras. The same is true of cultural policy.
In a growing number of towns (for instance Stuttgart, Nuremberg, Dortmund, Essen, Osnabrück) and federal states (Länder) (for example North Rhine-Westfalia), interdepartmental inclusion concepts exist in which culture plays a significant role and that are equipped with suitable funds. Over the last years, there has been a discussion on the need for cultural policy to accord greater attention to the cultural interests and rights to participation and self-organisation of ethnic minorities.
Since 2006, the Federal Chancellor organised 10 integration summits in Berlin concerning, among other topics, cultural and cultural policy issues. The result of the first integration summit was an agreement to come up with a national plan for integration which was introduced for the first time in 2007. During the fifth integration summit in spring 2012, the National Action Plan for Integration was introduced which further developed the national plan for integration from 2007. Federal government and states agreed on goals for the first time, including the promotion of individual encouragement, to recognise the potential of children, youth and young adults, to improve the recognition of degrees obtained in other countries and to increase the number of people with a migration background in the public services on the federal and state level. During the sixth integration summit in spring 2013 an interim result of the national integration plan was drawn up. The focus was on the topics of work, employment market, qualification and language. The main topic of the eighth integration summit in November 2014 was health and care of the immigration society. The topic of the 9th integration summit in 2016 was participation, that of the 10th integration summit (2018) the cohesion of people with and without migration background.
In addition to the integration summits, a set of country wide conferences were held on intercultural dialogue and diversity, for example by the National Council for Cultural Diversity (Bundesweiter Ratschlag für Kulturelle Vielfalt). Another actor is the Council of Experts of German Foundations for Integration and Migration (Sachverständigenrat Deutscher Stiftungen für Integration und Migration), an independent, scientific body that adopts positions on integration and migration policy issues.
The body is made up of seven foundations: the Stiftung Mercator, Volkswagen Stiftung, Bertelsmann Stiftung, Freudenberg Stiftung, Bosch-Stiftung, Stifterverband für die deutsche Wissenschaft and Vodafone Stiftung Deutschland. In recent years, several documents were produced on integration and cultural diversity, such as Cultural Diversity in the City Community (German Association of Cities and Towns 2004); Stuttgart's Impulse to Cultural Diversity (2006); the National Integration Plan of the Federal Government (2007); the Cologne Appeal (German Association of Cities and Towns North Rhine-Westphalia 2008); Intercultural Integration Report. Munich lives diversity (City of Munich 2010); Intercultural cultural activities (Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs of the Länder (KMK) 2011); and the National Action Plan Integration (2012).
A study from May 2012 outlines the status of the municipal integration policy in Germany. Particular attention is currently being paid to the importance of school and pre-school education for the mediation of intercultural expertise and the acceptance of cultural diversity. Concrete stipulations are suggested in several education plans for pre-schools and primary schools of the individual federal states (Länder). There are some special institutions and funding available to promote the art and culture of national and ethnic minorities for the purpose of intercultural exchange. Intercultural programmes are offered or sponsored inter aliaby the federally funded House of World Cultures (Haus der Kulturen der Welt), by the federally endowed Sociocultural Fund and in the context of projects (such as the celebrations of foreign cultures) launched by individual federal states (Länder) and numerous municipalities.
In 2005, the Federal Commissioner for Migration, Refugees and Integration was housed organisationally within the Chancellery, enhancing significance to the Minister of State. Present officeholder is Annette Widman-Mauz (CDU) since 2018. One of her tasks is to present a report on the situation of foreigners in Germany at least every two years.
In May 2015, the 10th report was presented with main focusses on education – from early childhood up to the course of studies – as well as training and employment market. It contains self-critical passages such as "the data situation shows that … the step towards an immigration society is done too hesitant" and "that our educational system does not always manage to allow educational success according to their skills and potentials regardless of their social background". In December 2019, the 12th report was published: Germany can integrate: promoting potential, demanding integration, strengthening cohesion.
Last update: March, 2020
The objectives of the new cultural policy in Germany largely reflect requirements and aims corresponding to the Council of Europe's definition of "social cohesion". In addition, they are of increasing importance with respect to equality of cultural opportunities, cultural diversity and intercultural dialogue. In this context, the 1999 integrated Action Programme of the Federal Government and federal states (Länder), which has been given the title Social Town (Soziale Stadt), is also of interest. Up to now 934 comprehensive measures in 533 cities and municipalities were admitted to the federal-state programme in order to counteract social and spatial division.
Concrete areas of activity include Urban District Culture (Stadtteilkultur), Social Activities and Social Infrastructure, as well as Different Social and Ethnic Groups Living Together. In 2014, the federal funds for the programme have been increased from 40 million EUR in 2013 to 150 million EUR. In 2017, the financial aid provided by the federal government for the Socially Integrative City funding programme was increased to 190 million EUR. The Federal Government also made the same amount available to the Länder in programme year 2018.
The positive impact that culture and the arts have on the process of cultural integration and social cohesion is increasingly being acknowledged. Only a few local or federal state (Länder) authorities, however, run concrete programmes and projects. Some federal states (Länder), such as North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW), have special funding programmes. Local authorities and public or private cultural institutions (like cultural centres) continue to be the main actors in this field. Beyond that, foundations become more and more active. The Federal Cultural Foundation (Shrinking Cities) and the Cultural Foundation of the federal states (Länder) (Kinder zum Olymp) may be highlighted in this aspect, both co-operating with civil society institutions. The cultural activities of the churches are growing in significance as well.
Exchange of experiences and best practices between actors and institutions (also online) helps to accelerate communication and adoption of new ideas and conceptions. Addressing audiences, especially those rather remote from the arts, is at the heart of projects that have a major concern with social cohesion. Programmes such as employing artists in public schools (e.g. with the project Cultural Operators for Creative Schools in Baden-Wuerttemberg, Hamburg, Berlin, North Rhine-Westphalia and Thuringia) or projects by theatres or orchestras working in social contexts, such as town districts, residential homes for elderly people, hospitals etc., are examples which are seen as both innovative and effective. There has been a certain revival of social and cultural ideas of the seventies and eighties, where cultural policy had a focus on the social impact of culture and arts as it is expressed with the term "Socio-culture" ("Soziokultur").
Themes linked to a value-based cultural policy are – among others – being discussed in the so-called "guiding culture" debate ("Leitkultur"-Debatte). This has an impact on the formation of public opinion. Themes like trust, respect, appreciation etc. play a major role here. Discussion, however, is only just starting. A debate, which is already more advanced, concerns topics like voluntary work, empowerment, participation, etc. Another focus of research and debate has been on the question of whether it is necessary to promote social cohesion even more than prescribed in the Constitution and laws of the country; the latter stating the values of society including the tradition of Christianity and Enlightenment.
Last update: March, 2020
Since the turn of the century, the discussion about a sustainable and environmentally friendly cultural policy has been intensified in Germany. The ecological deficit of cultural policy is being deplored and a new understanding of nature-related culture is in demand. Sustainability, conservation of resources and deceleration are called forth as key objectives of cultural policy. This is exemplified by a project of the Institute for Cultural Policy of the Association for Cultural Policy (IfK), The Importance of Culture as a Guiding Principle for Sustainable Development (2001/2002). In this context, the Tutzinger Manifesto for Strengthening the Cultural-Aesthetic Dimension of Sustainability was created in 2002. The manifesto was supported by well-known actors from the cultural, environmental and scientific fields and has generated an enormous public response. Based on the recognised deficit that culture has so far played no role in international concepts and declarations on sustainable development, and with reference to the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg in 2002, the manifesto called for Agenda 21 processes to be structurally opened up to the topic of culture and aesthetics.
However, the early processes of opinion formation – which were brought forward primarily by civil society actors – were followed by few concrete cultural policy actions. Only since climate change with its catastrophic consequences has dominated the headlines in the media, it has become increasingly clear that the old question about the limits of growth and the resulting constraints and necessary decisions are increasingly challenging for all policy areas, including cultural policy. There is now a growing call for federal, state and local cultural policy to meet the criteria of a sustainable and climate-friendly cultural policy. There are calls for cultural and environmental policy to be more closely interlinked. Furthermore, the debate on sustainability should be extended to include cultural topics. Specifically, there is a rising demand for programmes that enable cultural institutions to adapt to the climatic conditions that are expected to appear in the upcoming decades. Moreover, such programmes should provide incentives that encourage institutions to generate ideas for a change of direction and encourage them to communicate these new ideas proactively. The creation of sustainable equipment and a management of cultural infrastructure are regarded as further tasks to be tackled.
The message has also been getting through to official cultural policy makers for some time now. For example, in 2018 the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media, Professor Monika Grütters, declared: "We have a joint responsibility to leave a world worth living in to future generations. This is why I have long been advocating for more sustainable development and appropriate standards in our cultural institutions within the Federal Government.” Specifically, the Federal Chancellery is providing the Council for Sustainable Development with approximately 7.5 million EUR until 2020 for the creation of a Sustainability Culture Fund "to support the transformation of our everyday culture".
The German Cultural Council (Deutscher Kulturrat), the umbrella organisation of German cultural associations, has also put the issue at the top of its agenda. With the support of the German Council for Sustainable Development and in cooperation with the German Environmental and Nature Conservation Association, it launched a campaign in September 2018 to build a bridge between the sustainability discourse in the natural and environmental sector and cultural policy debates. In contrast, the federal states are still rather reserved and the municipalities are only tentatively beginning to get ready for this major challenge. Concrete impulses, on the other hand, are coming from the cultural scene. For example, some theatres are making efforts to achieve CO2-free productions and the socio-cultural centres are, together with the German Council for Sustainable Development, developing a sector-specific sustainability code, which will allow them to convert their operations based on sustainable criteria. (cf. Müller-Espey 2019)
findings on these new developments will be provided by a project of the
Institute for Cultural Policy of the Association for Cultural Policy on the
subject of Sustainable and climate-friendly cultural policy, which will start
 Tutzinger Manifest (2002), in: Kurt, Hildegard / Wagner, Bernd (Hrsg.), Kultur – Kunst – Nachhaltigkeit. Die Bedeutung von Kultur für das Leitbild Nachhaltige Entwicklung, Bonn / Essen: Kulturpolitische Gesellschaft e.V. / Klartext Verlag (Dokumentation 57), p. 265-267.
 Rauch, Matthias (2019): Nachhaltigkeit als kulturpolitisches Ziel. Der Fonds Nachhaltigkeitskultur, in: Kulturpolitische Mitteilungen Nr. 164, I/2019, p. 64-66.
 Müller-Espey, Christian (2019): “Ein Deutscher Nachhaltigkeitskodex für Kulturbetriebe? Soziokulturelle Zentren machen sich auf den Weg”, in: Forschungsfeld Kulturpolitik - Eine Kartierung von Theorie und Praxis, Festschrift für Wolfgang Schneider, Hildesheim: Olms Verlag.
No information available.