8.2 Administration and governance
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Culture was among the first areas of responsibility that were transferred from the federal state of Belgium to the German-speaking Community (which was then still called German Culture Community). As part of the Second State Reform 1980-1983, Article 130 was included in the Belgian Constitution (Belgische Verfassung). Article 130 states:
§ 1 - The Parliament of the German-speaking Community shall regulate by decree:
1. the cultural affairs;
2. the personal affairs;
3. the educational system within the limits determined in Article 127 § 1, paragraph 1, number 2;
4. the cooperation between the Communities as well as the international cooperation, including the conclusion of treaties, in the matters mentioned in items 1, 2 and 3.
5. the use of languages for teaching in institutions created, subsidized or recognized by public authorities.
The law shall establish the cultural and personal matters mentioned in points 1 and 2, as well as the forms of cooperation mentioned in point 4 and the manner in which the contracts shall be concluded.
§ 2 - These decrees have the force of law in the German language area.
Consequently, it is the institutions of the German-speaking Community who are responsible for creativity and culture. As far as the Ministy of the German-speaking Community is concerned, the responsible department is the Department for Youth and Culture. The Government of the German-speaking Community (Regierung der Deutschsprachigen Gemeinschaft) has a Minister who is among other responsibilities also responsible for culture. Within the Parliament of the German-speaking Community (Parlament der Deutschsprachigen Gemeinschaft), there is a Board for Culture, Employment, Economy Development and Regional Development.
Other relevant actors are defined and specified in the various legal bases.
The Decree of 18 November 2013 on the Promotion of Culture in the German-speaking Community (Dekret vom 18. November 2013 zur Förderung der Kultur in der Deutschsprachigen Gemeinschaft)
The Decree of 18 November 2013 on the Promotion of Culture in the German-speaking Community governs the promotion of the professional cultural bodies (cultural education, young talent and youth development), the promotion of cultural projects for young people, the promotion of cultural projects with schools, the promotion of amateur arts associations (promotion of young talent), the classification of the children's and youth choirs and much more.
On 1 January 2014 the Decree on the Promotion of Culture in the German-speaking Community came into force. The Decree does not define what culture is or what it should look like but creates a framework for the promotion of those creating culture in the German-speaking Community.
Specifically, this Decree governs the classification and promotion of the professional cultural event organisers, the professional culture producers and the two cultural centres in the south and north of the German-speaking Community as well as the promotion of amateur arts organisations and the amateur art association.
Over and above that, the Decree on the Promotion of Culture envisages further promotion programmes for special cultural projects, for anniversary celebrations, youth cultural projects, bursaries, cultural projects with schools and measures for improving access to culture. Schools can, for example, set up their own cultural project with artists, professional cultural bodies or amateur arts associations and obtain grants from the German-speaking Community. The cultural projects are funded only if they meet the prescribed criteria and if a completed application form has been submitted to the Ministry.
Apart from that, various projects in the artistic and cultural area, such as "Culture Makes the School" or "Bérénice - culture unites cultures!" are being developed and supported.
Decree of 16 December 2003 on the Promotion of creative Studios (Dekret vom 16. Dezember 2003 über die Förderung von kreativen Ateliers)
The Decree on the Promotion of creative Studios enables the Government to fund up to one creative studios per municipality in the German-speaking Community. These studios offer language, painting or fitness courses for children and adults. People garden, dance or research together – for example how Indians really lived. Among the funded studios are:
- Kreative Amel VoG
- Kreatives Atelier Kelmis VoG
- Kreatives Atelier Kunst und Bühne VoG (Eupen)
- Kreatives Atelier Regenbogen VoG (Raeren)
- Kreatives Atelier Neundorf VoG (St. Vith)
- Kreative Werkstatt Mürringen VoG (Büllingen)
Decree of 07 May 2007 on the Promotion of Museums and on Publications concerning the Cultural Heritage (Dekret vom 07. Mai 2007 über die Förderung der Museen sowie der Veröffentlichungen im Bereich des Kulturerbes)
The German-speaking Community has made it its task to recognise the museums that meet the ICOM criteria and to give them a special financial subsidy to support the professionalisation of the individual institutions. By means of these criteria, the museums aiming for recognition are classified into the different subsidy categories.
The museums recognised receive a lump sum per category towards the financing of their functioning costs. In addition, additional modular funding is laid down by decree, the granting and level of which is specified in an agreement between the German-speaking Community and the museums in question and relate in particular to quality increase and staffing.
The Decree on the Promotion of Museums and on Publications concerning the Cultural Heritage, which governs the regulating and recognition of the museums, was renewed in 2007 and then passed in the parliament.
There are six officially recognised museums in the German-speaking Community:
- Pottery Museum Raeren (Töpfereimuseum Raeren)
- City Museum Eupen (Stadtmuseum Eupen)
- IKOB – Museum of Contemporary Art (IKOB – Museum für Zeitgenössische Kunst)
- Museum „Between Venn and Schneifel“ (Museum „Zwischen Venn und Schneifel“)
- Museum „Vieille Montagne“
- Slate Mine & Bluestone Museum Recht (Schieferstollen & Bausteinmuseum Recht)
Decree of 17 November 2008 on the Promotion of Adult Education Institutions (Dekret vom 17. November 2008 zur Förderung der Einrichtungen der Erwachsenenbildung)
While not explicitly targeting young people, adult education institutions target at least partially young people, that is to say young people who at least have reached the age of 18. The legal basis for the adult education organisation in the German-speaking Community is the Decree of 17 November 2008 on the Promotion of Adult Education Institutions, which sets out the conditions for adult education institutions in order to receive funding. The officially recognised institutions are:
- Alteo – Sozialbewegung für Menschen mit und ohne Beeinträchtigung
- VHS Bildungsinstitut VoG
- Lupe VoG
- KAP Kulturelle Aktion und Präsenz VoG
- zeitKreis VoG
- AVES-Ostkantone VoG
- Natagora BNVS
- Die Eiche VoG
- Miteinander teilen
- Ländliche Gilden
General distribution of responsibilities
There is no special framework for the distribution of responsibilities. The Parliament, especially the relevant Board, is responsible for legislation, while Ministry and Government are responsible for execution. Most of the organisations applying for funding or recognition according to one of the previously mentioned Decrees need to submit a concept to the Government to assess whether or not the organisation complies with the conditions.
In this context, it is worth to mention that there is also a Council for Adult Education (Rat für Erwachsenenbildung, RfE), constituted by the Edict of 17 December 2009 on the Creation of a Council for Adult Education (Erlass der Regierung vom 17. Dezember 2009 zur Schaffung eines Rates für Erwachsenenbildung). The objective of the Council is to foster the cooperation and the exchange of best practice among the different adult education institutions and to regularly communicate the adult education activities to the Government.
There are no specific mechanisms for cross-sectoral cooperation in the area of culture and creativity in the German-speaking Community.