Common Cultural Heritage policy (Gedeeld Cultureel Erfgoed (GCE))

Nationaal Archief
Dutch Culture
Cultural Heritage Agency
Mondriaan Fund
Key objectives of the measure:

The Netherlands have maintained intensive relationships with a number of countries all over the world. These relations have left us with tangible and intangible heritage, generally called Common Cultural Heritage. Examples include u the heritage in other countries from the times of the East India Company and West India Company, from our colonial past, or from a time of intensive cultural or other relations.

Objectives of the GCE-policy are fostering international relations, sustainable conservation of heritage and promoting the visibility of and positive impression of The Netherlands.[1]

Scope of the measure:
Nature of the measure:
Main feature of the measure:

The Netherlands worked with the following GCE countries: Australia, Brazil, India, Indonesia, Japan, Russia, Suriname, Sri Lanka, the United States of America, and South-Africa.

Results expected through the implementation of the measure:

GCE offers points of departure for international collaboration. International collaboration fosters intercultural dialogue and deepens insights in the cultural identity and solidarity between peoples. In this way it promotes peace and security and helps solve problems of economic, social, cultural or humanitarian nature.

Collaboration on shared cultural heritage may also add to critical reflections on our history and enlarge the mutual understanding of past and present. Furthermore it could play a role in diplomacy, from a public or economic perspective: when incorporating cultural heritage within international relations the visibility of the Netherlands may be improved and it may raise goodwill abroad.[1]
This may take place in the form of training, knowledge exchange, ameliorating access to archives, discussing intangible heritage or repurposing of immovable cultural heritage.


[1] Ibid.

Financial resources allocated to implement the measure:

: one million euro annually from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and one million euro annually from the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, for the years 2013-2016. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs primarily funds embassies within the GCE structure. The Ministry of Education, Culture and Science primarily funds the National Archive and the Cultural Heritage Agency.[1]

Main conclusions of the evaluation of the measure:

In general, the policy has been considered to be successful[1]. In the 2012 Mid-term review , the audit services of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs advised to continue the policy. They also suggested to improve the efficiency, this could be done by revaluating the GCE priority countries and increasing transparency in policymaking. Furthermore, the policy should work more with a demand based attitude and less with a supply based attitude.[2]

Indicators used to determine impact:
see above
Goal(s) of UNESCO's 2005 Convention
Cultural Domain(s)