Choosing culture

  • policy & politics

Next November 22, the House of Representatives elections will take place. Most parties have drawn up a picture of their ideal arts and culture policy. Below is a brief, and where possible a visual arts-oriented, overview.


The BoerBurger Movement emphasizes the importance of local cultural traditions and maintaining them. The party wants to raise awareness of cultural subsidies, make them more accessible and distribute them evenly throughout the Netherlands. The party also believes "that culture is of value in itself and should not be made political through policy, as now happens a lot through imposed inclusion and diversity policies." BBB favors "special arrangements for small organizations to be able to receive subsidies without having to provide expensive research or analysis." Cultural education should focus on the rich Dutch cultural history.


BVNL believes that music education and sports should be encouraged more in schools and that subsidies to NPO should be reduced and their programs made "neutral.


The CDA advocates a broad and accessible range of arts, culture and media. Good regional distribution is important, as is a National History Museum that tells the story "of our shared past and how we can jointly shape a shared future." Community spirit is important to the party, which is why it supports language, culture and tradition with a regional or local character. The CDA wants to maintain important facilities in local communities.

Christian Union

The government fulfills an important role as subsidizer, patron and guardian of the cultural climate and heritage, the CU believes. The party focuses especially on history, education, museums, orchestras, monuments, church heritage and libraries. It also mentions the importance of an accessible range of arts and culture, especially for young people. In addition, the importance of regional languages is emphasized. Finally, "The principles of the Fair Practice Code serve as guidelines for a healthy labor market in the cultural sector, so that everyone can do their work under fair conditions and for reasonable remuneration" and "Talented artists deserve the chance to build up a professional practice. The government supports this with forms of financing such as guarantee schemes or revolving funds."


D66 is committed to making the sector stable and future-proof. This requires extra money and the subsidy system is in need of renewal. There must be room for innovative art forms and makers deserve a better social position and more (financial) support.ële) appreciation. Application procedures and use of budgets will be better coordinated to avoid white spots in the region and high administrative burdens. Local governments will also receive sufficient resources for cultural policy and cultural heritage. There will be more room in national cultural funds for individual artists and small collectives. The subsidy system must be better able to respond to new art forms and new stories, types of makers, earning models, creative practices and new (digital) ways to get the work of makers to the public. There will be incentives for sustainability and inclusion. Institutions that have been in the basic infrastructure for years will receive a permanent subsidy relationship, in return they will bear greater responsibility and solidarity contribution towards new initiatives. The party wants to focus more strongly on building monuments of the future; in this regard, it is important that when new public buildings are constructed, they areïnvested in design, arts and culture through a mandatory ONEnprocents scheme. Fair pay will become mandatory as a grant condition, funds will be made available for this purpose. The low VAT rate for art and culture will be maintained. Everyone must be able to experience art and culture in an accessible way. Cultural education will be given the same priority at every school. The party also works towards a more diverse sector and considers it important to effectively deploy the cultural and creative sector for (major) social tasks, to which end methods of design-based research will be developed for the entire sector.

Forum for Democracy

FVD focuses mainly on issues such as preserving European culture, free access to national museums for Dutch citizens, subsidies for heritage conservation, restoration and explication, and not sticking contemporary standards and labels on historical monuments.

GreenLeft Labour Party

GroenLinks PVDA believes it is important to use art and culture to reach "All people, all income groups, all ages and all beliefs," including those who currently have little access to art and culture. This requires a wide range of cultural facilities, including in the region. The party wants to invest in the sector through the state, municipalities and provinces. Regional distribution of cultural facilities and subsidies is important, as is the existence of smaller low-threshold production houses alongside large institutions. The party wants fair pay & fair practice as a norm when granting subsidies; it should be a binding condition. Subsidies should be earmarked so that they go directly to creators and performers. Collective disability insurance and pensions will be created. The party is also in favor of simpler and long-term subsidies, with the principles being trust and creative freedom. "We relax the conditions and accountability requirements of project grants, reduce and shorten application procedures and expand the opportunities to apply for grants orally. We want funds to expand opportunities to provide low-threshold funding to artists directly for smaller amounts. For structural funding, we make it possible to apply for grants for eight years - instead of four years. We create room in the grant schemes for experimentation in the cultural sector and give artists the freedom and opportunity to experiment and innovate." Governments and production funds will encourage talent development by offering young artists commissions. The party wants to support the sector in utilizing digital opportunities for art production, dissemination and experience and pay attention to copyright protection and the privacy of artists and consumers. The State Museums will be accessible free of charge one day a month. The party intends to actively work to return looted art from various collections.

And finally, "Art in public spaces enriches our living environment and contributes to the identity of our cities and towns. We want to promote art in public spaces."


For JA21, "one-sided ideologization of art and culture" must end. The deficits in the cultural sector can be solved by halving the budget for the NPO and with that money cultural assets can be better maintained. All subsidies will be "abolished" and the motto will be "keep your own pants up and if there is no need for your art, then it is not a profession but a hobby." However, the party does want to spend money on preservation, restoration and accessibility of cultural heritage.

Party for the Animals

The Party for the Animals explicitly wants to involve the arts, culture and heritage sector in social issues and believes that more money should go to the arts and culture sector, also to increase its accessibility. Cultural education and participation are enshrined in the law. The Diversity and Inclusion Code will be promoted and makers in the sector will receive fair compensation according to the Fair Practice Code. More budget must be structurally available for this. There will also be policy on climate and environment, so that the sector can reduce its own ecological footprint. The low VAT rate will be maintained. Collaboration will be proactively sought with various social networks, councils and bodies from the cultural domain to help think about challenges in our society. Cross-pollination between artistic and academic research will be facilitated. The national fund for experimental research and projects in the field of art and science will be strengthened.

New Social Contract

The preliminary election program did not talk about art and cultural policy, but it did talk frequently about administrative culture. Art was mentioned in the following context: "The text of the Constitution does not even hang in the Lower House. The initiative of the Omtzigt Group to change this has succeeded, so that there will be a work of art with the fundamental rights later this year at the celebration of 175 years of the Constitution." After BK Information #& went to press, NSC's election program was presented. In it, culture is discussed in the Identity and Culture chapter. The party wants cultural policy to pay more attention to (regional) history and to "people who fought for freedom and tolerance." Museums, exhibitions and public archives deserve financial support in cultural policy. Further attention for a national history museum, heritage, slavery museum, the region and indirectly for fair pay: "Artists must be enabled to earn an honest living. For artists to profit from their own work, online platforms and streaming services must contribute more to the earning model of the cultural sector." And on modern art: "We have an eye for the significance of modern art and culture for the livability and attractiveness of cities and villages. Contemporary artists inspire their surroundings with beauty and a creative view of the future."


The PVV wants to end arts and culture subsidies, end the "leftist hatred of heroes of our history," preserve old traditions and completely end funding for the NPO.ëindigenize.


The SP believes that artists should not have to live in poverty and are going to ensure a fair income and enshrine it in law. The party plans to launch a national investment fund to support arts and culture. The SP also wants to improve social security, through good pensions and collective insurance against disability. A national history museum will show how our society and our country came into being, the values that underlie them and the struggles that have been waged for them. This includes attention to the black pages of our history. State museums will be accessible free of charge, regional-national museums at least ONEn day a week. The SP wants to ensure a fair distribution of cultural subsidies across the country.


Volt wants the distribution of funds across regions to be organized in such a way that education, healthcare, work, culture and public services are easily accessible to everyone in the Netherlands. The cultural sector should and can be more diverse and inclusive. Art and culture, especially heritage, can help discover things that are unknown. Volt wants the Dutch government to make connecting Europeans a weighty goal when spending cultural subsidies. The livelihoods of cultural and creative creators should be increased, as should equality and inclusivity in and of the sector. Volt is in favor of collective rate agreements for all employees and self-employed workers. Among other things, the party wants to strengthen the position of women and people from bi-cultural and migration backgrounds in the cultural sector.


The VVD challenges the sector to contribute to social tasks, and to involve other target groups such as the elderly and young people. The desire is to lend or rent out the tens of millions of artworks in depots more often, allowing more people to enjoy art. "When artworks are no longer on display, sales are in order," he said. Subsidized institutions must be more entrepreneurial and are given more space to do so. Organizers of popular culture are better supported and popular culture becomes a full part of the basic cultural infrastructure. The VVD wants to reform the NPO so that there is more room for broadcasters to make programs based on their own identity.

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