International Cultural Policy (Internationaal Cultuur Beleid ‘ICB’)

Ministry of Education, Culture and Science
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Key objectives of the measure:

Foreign cultural expressions and the history of the ‘other’ are of great importance to obtain new perspectives, images and knowledge. Artists and cultural institutions from the Netherlands offer new inspiration and knowledge abroad and vice versa.
The International Cultural Policy is aimed at facilitating international cooperation with the relevant parties: the cultural sector, civil-society organizations, governments, cities and private parties.[1]

The Common Cultural Heritage Policy (described in the next measure) falls under the International Cultural Policy.

Government primarily has a facilitating role. On an international level, government focuses on 4 different aspects.

  1. Cultural institutions, artists or heritage professionals often have limited knowledge about international exchanges. The government helps them to get in contact with the relevant institutions which stimulate and facilitate exchanges, presentations and international cooperation, such as embassies, funds and supporting institutions.
  2. Government involvement may be desirable or necessary to engage in international cultural cooperation and exchange. This applies to countries where the government has a decisive role in cultural policy or where it has a strong influence on cultural life.
  3. The cultural sector’s visibility and appreciation may be enhanced by working together. Collective international promotion is by definition not a matter for an individual institution or artist.
  4. Culture can be used as part of diplomacy.[1]

[1]  Ibid.

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

The International Cultural Policy aims at facilitating international cooperation of the parties concerned: the cultural sector, civil-society organizations, governments, cities and private parties.[1]

Results expected through the implementation of the measure:

Improvement in mutual understanding, interest in cultural expressions, cultural identity and history.  

Financial resources allocated to implement the measure:

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science yearly spend 21.2 million euro together.[1]


[1]  Ibid.

Main conclusions of the evaluation of the measure:

After the evaluation of the policy over the period 2013-2016, the priorities for the International Cultural Policy 2017-2020 are:

  • Attention to both the intrinsic and social value of culture, as well as its economic value;
  • Emphasis on the importance of exchanges, networks and reciprocity;
  • Development of a coherent and integral international approach, with more room for initiatives from the field;
  • More attention for the unifying role culture can play internationally, with a focus on the countries around Europe;
  • More support for cultural diplomacy worldwide.
Indicators used to determine impact: