International Cultural Policy

Ministerie van Onderwijs, Cultuur en Wetenschap (Ministry of Education, Culture and Science)
Ministerie van Buitenlandse Zaken (Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
Describe the main features of the policy/measure: 
The Dutch government wants to strengthen international cultural exchange and cooperation as this nurtures us with new influences and images. In the same way, the work and subjects of Dutch artists and cultural institutions are a source of inspiration and knowledge in other countries. They showcase what the Netherlands is about. Dutch cultural creators, painters, heritage sites and design tell our story. The Netherlands is a country with an open outlook, keen to forge partnerships and find innovative solutions. Culture also serves Dutch political and economic interests. In May 2016, a new policy framework on international cultural policy was published for the years 2017-2020. Since 1997, the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and of Education, Culture and Science share the responsibility for international cultural relations, one of the priorities of Dutch cultural policy. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is responsible for cultural attachés in embassies, representing Dutch culture abroad, activities carried out within the Council of Europe and UNESCO, and for the geographically strategic regions. The Ministry of Education, Culture and Science takes responsibility for cultural policy and the funding of the Basic Cultural Infrastructure institutions with international potential. There is also cooperation in a programme on internationalisation of the creative industries and the performing arts. Both ministries support the organisation DutchCulture. This centre for international cooperation supports the implementation of Dutch international cultural policy and contributes to the foreign agenda and cultural image of the Netherlands. The Netherlands’ international cultural policy contributes to the quality and international visibility of the Dutch cultural sector. At the same time, the policy furthers the objectives of Dutch foreign policy, and is used for cultural diplomacy. The government maintains an infrastructure of organisations that stimulate and facilitate exchange, presentation and cooperation, such as embassies, funds and supporting institutions. The Dutch diplomatic posts of the 17 countries that are the specific focus of the current international cultural policy, have a central role in implementing the policy. Together with the Dutch public funds for culture and several institutions that work in international cultural cooperation, they implement multiyear strategies. The Netherlands does not have an own publicly mandated cultural agency outside its borders. Instead, the cultural departments of the Dutch embassies and consulates fulfil this role. The international cultural policy has a system of focus countries. Through this selection, time and means are allocated to intensify the cultural cooperation with these countries and build sustainable networks and knowledge exchange. The six Dutch public funds for culture offer subsidies for international activities. The Netherlands has a memorandum of understanding on cultural cooperation with some countries, for example China and Indonesia. To improve the (international) mobility of collections, there is a loans indemnity subsidy scheme. The Netherlands actively participates in diverse programs of the European Union like Erasmus+ and Creative Europe. For the period 2017-2020, there is a broader view on art and international cultural cooperation, which has led to a focus on the intrinsic and social value of culture, next to the economic value. Still, the main purpose of international cultural policy is to strengthen the Dutch cultural sector. At the same time, there is also the goal to create more room for the arts to contribute to a safe, just, future-proof world and to use culture effectively as a tool of modern diplomacy. The current Minister of Education, Culture and Science has increased the budget for international cultural cooperation in 2018 with USD 2.425.022 (EUR 2.000.000) per year.
Financial resources allocated to the policy/measure in USD: 
USD 22.188.951 per year (EUR 18.300.000 per year)
Partner(s) engaged in the implementation of the measure: 
Name of partnerType of entity
Public Sector
Cultural field
Civil Society Organization (CSO)
Embassies in the focus countries
Public Sector
Public funds for culture and supporting organisations
Public Sector
Has the implementation of the policy/measure been evaluated?: