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EACEA National Policies Platform


8. Creativity and Culture

8.3 National strategy on creativity and culture for young people

Last update: 28 November 2023
On this page
  1. Existence of a national strategy
  2. Scope and contents
  3. Responsible authority for the implementation of the strategy
  4. Revisions/updates

Existence of a national strategy

The Law on specific culture policy (Wet op het specifiek cultuurbeleid) of 11 March 1993 states that the Minister or the Secretary of State of Culture issues a culture policy note every four years which forms the basis for subsidizing culture in the coming period.

BIS: Basic infrastructure for culture

The Ministry of OCW distributes the budget for cultural organizations in the so-called cultural basic infrastructure (culturele basisinfrastructuur - BIS). The BIS for 2021 – 2024 can be downloaded from the website page of the national government. The division of the yearly budget of € 375,46 million is summarized in one clarifying infographic. The organizations are divided into different categories, such as podium arts, museums, visual arts, creative industry, amateur arts and culture education, films, literature and supra sectoral organizations.

BIS focuses on cultural organizations that have a specific function in the national cultural framework, or assume a core function in the regional and urban infrastructure. This includes cultural funding organizations, such as the Cultural Participation Fund (Fonds voor Cultuurparticipatie). Financing the BIS falls directly under ministerial responsibility. The regulation of the Law on specific culture policy mentioned earlier in this paragraph stipulates that at least one organization on amateur arts and culture education must be part of the BIS’ cultural basic infrastructure. It is also regulated that BIS has to include nine organizations for youth performing arts. In the other arts disciplines, there is no special focus on youth. However, one of the requirements to get subsidized is to have targets for culture education and participation.

Extra money for cultural activities

Besides their legal tasks, the government grants extra money for cultural activities in education, by means of the culture budget as well as the education budget. For example:

  • In the so-called Prestatiebox (performance box), the government sets aside an extra budget for primary and secondary education. In 2018, € 282 million was reserved for primary education, and € 296 million for secondary education. On top of a lump sum schools receive a budget to use, among others, for language and mathematics; science and technics; culture education in primary education; talent development; professionalization of teachers and school leaders.
  • The programme ‘Culture education with Quality’ (Cultuureducatie met Kwaliteit) of the Cultural Participation Fund is financed from the culture budget.

Sources: National Centre of Expertise for Cultural Education and Amateur Arts  (Landelijk Kennisinstituut Cultuureducatie Amateurkunst LKCA)

Government vision

In June 2019, the Minister of Education, Culture and Sport published the Uitgangspunten Cultuurbeleid 2021-2024 (Principles culture policy 2021-2024).  The document contains the principles for the cultural policy for the period 2021-2024 and for the national basic infrastructure, meaning the selected cultural institutions to receive state funding. The principles on which the culture policy is based are:

  1. Broadening and renewing the basic infrastructure, to include new genres and reach more target groups.
  2. A strong cultural sector with fair payments and terms of employment.
  3. Culture of and for everyone through stimulating cultural participation, immaterial heritage and culture education.
  4. Culture without borders through international knowledge exchange.

In December 2018, the Council for Culture had given its recommendations for the aforementioned policy principles and grant applications: Advice culture system 2021-2024: Culture nearby, close to culture (Advies cultuurbestel 2021-2024: Cultuur dichtbij, dicht bij cultuur).

In September 2020, Minister Bussemaker sent her letter Prinsjesdagbrief BIS 2021-2024 with attachment (Opening-day of Dutch Parliament Cultural Basic Infrastructure 2021-2024) to Parliament.  In this document, she explains her division of subsidies among the institutions in the national infrastructure for the period 2021-2024. In total, 113 cultural institutions and 6 funds receive an amount of 413 million euro per year. An additional 482 million euro extra is spent in the first 6 months of 2021, to financially support the cultural and creative sector during the corona crisis.

In December 2019, a policy framework on international cultural policy was published by the Ministries of Education, Culture and Science and of Foreign Affairs.

Government formed after the national elections of March 2017

The new coalition of VVD (People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy), CDA (Christian Democratic Appeal), D66 (Democrats ’66) and Christenunie (Christian Union) have presented themselves on 10 October 2017. Culture Connection (Cultuurconnectie) (also see paragraph 8.1) made a summary of the coalition’s text with a special focus on culture to inform their members. The coalition mentioned specific regulations for culture:

  • Investments in culture will grow from € 25 million in 2018, € 50 million in 2019 to € 80 million in 2020 and € 80 million in 2021. With this funding the toughest bottlenecks and the biggest problems in the sector can be tackled and the cultural infrastructure can be strengthened.
  • The Geefwet will continue.
  • For heritage and monuments, the cabinet will grant a one-time amount of € 325 million for the coming four years. Among other things, empty churches can be renovated and made available for other purposes. Private owners can keep counting on governmental support, either through fiscal deduction or subsidies.
  • Visiting the Rijksmuseum (Government Museum of Arts) will be part of a compulsory activity for all children in the Netherlands.

In 2021 a new Cabinet will be formed, following the national elections in March of that year.

Source: Culture connection Cultuurconnectie.

Scope and contents

In an official letter to the House of Representatives about the cultural basic infrastructure (Prinsjesdagbrief BIS 2021-2024; Opening-day of Dutch Parliament Cultural Basic Infrastructure 2021-2024)) the Minister of Education, Culture and Science announced the following regarding youth and culture:

Youth theatre and dance: The ministerial regulation offers space for 13 youth theatre and dance companies. The youth companies were mentioned by name in the annex (page 2).  

  • Reading and attention for literature

The Minister aims to stimulate reading by young people by an extra investment in supporting agencies, the organization of a literature festival and further integration of literature policy.

  • Special attention to youth

The Cultural Participation Fund (Fonds voor Cultuurparticipatie) (see also Paragraph 8.1) will develop a separate multi-year assortment for youth. All cultural companies that have received funding are asked to pay special attention to new groups like youth.

The Cultural Participation Fund contributes to high-grade culture education, especially for children, to spot and coach future top talent in the Netherlands and to develop an innovative, attractive and sustainable offer for active culture participation. In the period 2021–2024 the fund combines its activities in three programmes, as mentioned in its policy plan Culture makes it (Cultuur maakt het). The activities in these programmes that are specifically aimed at young people are mentioned below

  1. Multi-annual support of national talent developers, support of talent development in regions and talents in informal environments.
  2. Executing the programme Culture education with quality ’21-’24 in primary and secondary education and post-secondary vocational education. Stimulating a modern assortment that matches young people’s needs and renewing culture education

Responsible authority for the implementation of the strategy

Responsible for the implementation, coordination and monitoring of the strategy on creativity and culture for young people in the Netherlands is the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science (Ministerie van Onderwijs, Cultuur en Wetenschap OCW). The Ministry states that it works towards a smart, capable and creative Netherlands. OCW strives to provide high quality education for all and wishes to prepare all citizens for independency and responsibility. It wants everybody to experience culture and intends to enable teachers, artists and scientists to do their job.


We have no information available about revisions or updates.