Fall cabinet and the arts

  • policy & politics

After the fall of Cabinet Rutte IV this summer, several articles appeared about the impact it could have on the cultural and creative sector. On Nov. 22 of this year are the elections, followed by the cabinet formation.

Until the new cabinet takes office, the current cabinet will continue to rule in caretaker status with only current issues being handled and no new major initiatives being taken.

Creative Coalition

The Creative Coalition described three possible consequences: "The fall of the cabinet may lead to a delay of important (legislative) changes related to the labor market. (...) Legislation that would be dealt with in the short term is also in danger of being delayed, such as the new law on author's contract law. This law should better protect creators and performers from powerful market parties." Another consequence concerns uncertainty about a number of pending potential legislative changes, such as the VAT increase in the sector to 21 percent.

The Creative Coalition also mentions the uncertainty regarding the future culture budget and the chance that a future cabinet member will have less affinity with the sector that the current State Secretary Uslu. But where there are risks, there are also opportunities: "Parties can also agree in a new coalition agreement mONEr to invest in the cultural and creative sector. Also, a new coalition agreement offers the chance to make better agreements on the sector's earning power, overall livelihood security and lifelong development."

Arts '92

Kunsten '92 expresses its appreciation to state secretary Uslu and believes that work must continue on the renewal of the cultural system just as much as on "reforms of the labor market in general and that of the cultural and creative sector in particular." Like the Creative Coalition, Kunsten '92 is concerned about the municipal and provincial fund: "More than 60% of the investments in culture by governments are made by municipalities and provinces. Therefore, municipalities and provinces, and municipalities in the Caraïbic area, have enough resources in the municipal and provincial funds, even after 2026. (...) Without a legal entrenchment or duty of care for art, culture, heritage and the creative sector, there is a very good chance that investments in art and culture will become the child of the bill, putting pressure on fair payment for creators and the proximity of art and culture."

A major problem mentioned is "ravine year 2026. In 2026, the structure of the municipal and provincial fund will be decoupled from central government spending and linked to the gross national product. The size of this fund, the pot of municipalities and provinces that finances much of the cultural sector, is expected to shrink significantly as a result. More than 60% of investments in culture by governments are made by municipalities and provinces.

Arts Union

The Arts Union is also concerned that important issues will remain unaddressed, such as cross-border behavior, extreme underpayment, the VAT increase, copyright contract law, a broader labor market agenda and fair practice. The Kunstenbond advocates maintaining the maker's perspective, which the state secretary made central to her policy.

Paradiso Debate

The fall of the cabinet and the significance this may have for the cultural sector was discussed at length during the Paradiso debate on August 27. Questions such as What does the fall of the cabinet mean for the future of cultural policy? What are the consequences and opportunities? What course do we choose? The lively debate can be seen via the Kunsten '92 website. There was much discussion about the beïinfluence legislation in order to safeguard the sector's position. Public administration expert Martijn van de Steen advised the sector: don't lobby on the law, but lobby on the funding!

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