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Belgium/ 2. General objectives and principles of cultural policy  

2.3 Cultural policy objectives

All the objectives underpinning cultural policy are based on the principles of political democracy and cultural democracy. References to human rights and pluralist democracy are a constant guiding thread running through all the regulatory provisions. Cultural practices, creations and actions which explicitly fit within this approach are given priority. All the actions conducted likewise fit within the framework of the defence and promotion of a European culture that is tolerant, open to the world, intrinsically diverse and respectful of the minorities which contribute to global cultural development.

Belgium and its Communities have always played a very active role within the Council of Europe. Several cultural policy thrusts fit within the parameters set by the Council of Europe.

Flemish Community

Cultural policy in the Flemish Community is based on the following values:

  • equal rights for all inhabitants;
  • quality and diversity in the cultural offer (and taking measures to correct market distortions);
  • cultural democracy and cultural participation;
  • cultural competences;
  • creativity; and
  • protection and promotion of cultural heritage.

Core responsibilities of Flemish authorities in the field of professional arts, cultural heritage, socio-cultural youth work and adult work, are:

  • developing a strategic conceptual framework;
  • providing a set of instruments;
  • monitoring; and
  • taking measures to increase the quality of the cultural offer and provision of cultural services.

French-speaking Community of Belgium

In 2005, the Culture Minister launched the Culture Forum, a space for discussing cultural policy with all the cultural players in the French-speaking Community of Belgium which has been gestating for a number of years.

The priorities which have come out of the Culture Forum and been implemented are as follows:

  • reinforcing public access and participation;
  • improving cultural governance;
  • guaranteeing funding for cultural policy;
  • supporting creative artists;
  • reinforcing the various cultural sectors;
  • supporting the development of new forms of expression, specifically by means of technological developments; and
  • ensuring the harmonious territorial and economic development of culture.

German-speaking Community

Art and cultural heritage are two main branches in the area of culture. Whilst literature is a part of culture, libraries and the promotion of reading, cinemas, radio and television and press assistance fall within the area of the media.

The German-speaking Community promotes:

  • amateur arts;
  • increased interest in the theatrical arts, plastic arts and literature;
  • continuing education of young talent and aspiring artists with regional charisma;
  • cultural cooperation with external partners;
  • folklore activities;
  • the protection and preservation of cultural heritage (museums, scientific historical publications, restoration work);
  • libraries;
  • expansion of media service centres;
  • implementation of initiatives in the areas of books and film; and
  • public-sector and private-sector radio and television broadcasters.

Promotional work is mainly affected by way of subsidies. Further possibilities are holding events (exhibitions, competitions, and readings), effecting or brokering cooperation or the purchase of artwork. A particular stance is taken by the Media Centre of the German-speaking Community, which carries out measures to promote reading, offers media awareness and media courses, maintains a multimedia workshop and produces television programming.

Chapter published: 16-01-2018

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