Report creation date: 14.10.2008 - 10:36
Countr(y/ies): Germany
Chapter(s): 1,2,21,22,23,24,241,242,243,244,245,246,3,31,32,33,4,41,42,421,422,423,424,425,426,427,428,429,4210,43,5,51,511,512,513,514,515,516,517,518,519,52,53,531,532,533,534,535,536,537,538,539,5310,6,61,62,63,64,7,71,72,73,8,81,811,812,813,82,821,822,83,831,832,84,841,842,9,91,92

Germany/ 1. Historical perspective: cultural policies and instruments

In contrast to most European countries, Germany was made up of many independent feudal states and city republics that each pursued their own cultural policies and established a host of cultural institutions. Among them were distinct cultural traditions that were not centralised nor assimilated in the German Empire (Reich), founded in 1871. While, the new Reich government was responsible for foreign cultural policy, the constituent states retained responsibility for their own cultural policies. The special autonomy of the municipalities extended to the area of cultural affairs which was supported by a strong civic commitment to the arts and culture. Under the new constitution of the Weimar Republic (1919-1933), public responsibility and support for the arts and culture was divided among the Reich government, the governments of the Länder (the constituent states), the city and municipal councils.Brandenburger Tor

The approach adopted by the National Socialist regime (1933-1945) replaced the diversity that had evolved over the course of centuries with forced centralisation, stifling civic commitment and instrumentalising culture to serve the aims of the Regime. This experience with centralisation later led to the emergence of a strong penchant for federalism in the Federal Republic of Germany.


The National Socialist tyranny and World War II ended on 8 May 1945. The German Reich was then divided into three Western occupation zones. These three zones eventually became two: the Federal Republic of Germany and the German Democratic Republic (formally a Soviet occupation zone). Following a brief period marked by co-operation between the Federal Republic and the GDR, cultural policy evolved independently and developed along different lines in the two German states. This changed following Germany's reunification 40 years later on 3 October 1990.

Cultural policy in the German Democratic Republic was based on a concept of culture that encompassed the "humanistic heritage" of classical art forms, on the one hand, and new forms of everyday culture on the other. It enabled the working class led by the Socialist Unity Party of Germany (SED) to participate in cultural events, the ideological basis of which, however, was a one-sided view of history that embraced only certain traditions of the workers' movement. In addition to the reactivation of the traditional cultural institutes, new institutions engaged in cultural activities emerged, such as "houses of culture" or youth clubs. Particularly important were those activities organised by social and cultural associations as well as worker's unions within larger companies, all of which were under tight state control. Such companies, along with the state, were the most important supporters of this "popular culture". As a rule, the cultural work of all organisations was funded by the state and orchestrated by the SED. In the German Democratic Republic, a break was made with the tradition of cultural federalism that had prevailed in Germany until 1933. In 1952, the Länder were dissolved and replaced by 15 districts. From 1954, the state-controlled cultural sector was headed by the Ministry of Culture.


This phase of cultural policy development ended with the accession of the German Democratic Republic to the Federal Republic of Germany on 3 October 1990 ("Reunification"). Responsibility for many of the traditional cultural institutions supported by the state or the districts was passed on to the newly re-constituted Länder and municipalities. Virtually all cultural activities and facilities of the former state run companies and worker's unions were shut down; responsibilities for some of these activities were taken over by sponsors. Since then, the structures for cultural policy development in Germany's eastern Länder have essentially become similar to those of the "old" Federal Republic.

Following World War II, Western Allies prescribed a very narrow role for the government of the new Federal Republic of Germany in the field of cultural policy, mainly as a consequence of the National Socialists' former abuse of culture and the arts. Following the restoration of the cultural infrastructure, cultural policy remained largely limited to the promotion of traditional art forms and cultural institutions. Not until the process of social modernisation got under way - accompanied by the youth and civic protest movements of the 1960s onward - did the scope of cultural policy broaden to include other areas of activity.

A "New Cultural Policy" emerged in the 1970s as part of a general democratisation process within society, the thrust of which was expanded to encompass everyday activities. The arts were to be made accessible to all members of society if at all possible. In the 1970s, the call for "culture for everyone" and for a "civil right to culture" led to a tremendous expansion of cultural activities, the further development of cultural institutions and the emergence of numerous new fields of cultural endeavour financed by increasing public expenditure. This growth was matched by continuously rising popular demands for a variety of cultural goods and services.


The reform-oriented cultural policy objectives of the 1970s were replaced in the 1980s by new priorities which saw culture as a factor enhancing Germany's attractiveness as a location for business and industry.

The 1990s were profoundly influenced by the unification of Germany. In the new eastern Länder, adoption of the administrative structure of the "old" Federal Republic and its approach to cultural policy prompted a restructuring of and radical changes in the cultural landscape. These years have also been marked by austerity measures and budgetary constraints and by the increasingly evident structural problems of the major traditional cultural institutions.

In the early years of this decade, cultural policy in Germany stabilised in comparison to the changes of the 1990s. However, the cultural policy still faces large challenges and requires re-orientation. The main issues are financial, on the one hand, and, on the other hand, are structural in nature and concern the conceptional basis of cultural policy. Despite an improved state budget, there is ongoing pressure on cultural institutions to increase their economic equity-ratio, to lead their institutions more economically, as well as to obtain funds from other sources such as sponsorship, patronage and marketing. In particular, the structural problems require a readjustment of the relationship between the state, market and society concerning the financing of cultural institutions, among other methods, through public private partnership models and a stronger integration of civic commitments. In addition, the conceptional basis of past cultural policies has been challenged by migration processes, rapid media development and a change in the composition of audiences (a decreasing total population and an increasing number of older people). Currently, intensive discussion is taking place in Germany on the requirements of cultural policies, due to these societal changes. 

Germany/ 2. Competence, decision-making and administration

2.1 Organisational structure (organigram) 

Germany/ 2. Competence, decision-making and administration

2.2 Overall description of the system

Germany is a federally organised country with different tiers of government: the Bund or Federal Government (i.e. national authorities, Parliament etc), the Bundesländer (autonomous states) and the municipalities (cities, towns, counties). The German Constitution (Grundgesetz) stipulates the division of responsibility and competencies among the different levels of government.

Article 30 of the German Constitution assigns most competence to the Bundesländer: "the exercise of state powers and competencies lie with the Länder, except where specifically stipulated or permitted by the German Constitution". At the moment, there is no general constitutional clause giving the Federal Government responsibility for areas such as culture or education. Hence, the Bundesländer are the main public actors in the cultural field and are responsible for setting their own policy priorities, funding their respective cultural institutions and for supporting projects of regional importance.

Article 28 (2) of the German Constitution, affirms the role of municipalities in cultural affairs at the local level. The respective Constitutions of each Länder reinforce this provision and further define specific cultural responsibilities for local governments.

Within this federal and highly decentralised system, there are a number of bodies which formulate and implement cultural policy: legislative or self-governing bodies (i. e. parliaments, councils), government administrations (i. e. ministries or departments for cultural affairs), or consultative bodies (i. e. expert committees). The size and structure of these bodies will differ across the country.

Within their fields of competence, the Federal Government, the Bundesländer and the municipalities are largely free to shape cultural policy as they see fit, in other words, to determine the form, extent and priorities of their cultural programmes.

Federal Government bodies responsible for cultural affairs

The Federal Government has jurisdiction over foreign cultural policy, including schools and higher education. The extent to which the federal authorities have competence in other areas of culture having a nationwide or international impact is currently being discussed.

In 1998, the Federal Government created, for the first time, a Federal Government Commissioner for Cultural Affairs and the Media (today: Federal Commissioner for Cultural and Media Affairs / Beauftragter für Kultur und Medien); thus creating a central contact point for cultural affairs at the federal level. A corresponding Committee on Cultural and Media Affairs was subsequently set up in the German Bundestag (Parliament). It acts as a supervisory body for the work of the Federal Commissioner for Cultural and Media Affairs and for the department responsible for foreign cultural policy at the Auswärtiges Amt (German Federal Ministry for Foreign Affairs).

One of the most important responsibilities of the Parliamentary Committee on Cultural and Media Affairs is to examine all legal initiatives and changes with respect to their possible effect on culture (Kulturverträglichkeit), e. g. tax laws including special provisions for non-profit organisations. It also initiates cultural policy debates on issues of nation wide importance such as the setting up a monument for the victims of the Holocaust, the refugees after the Second World War or the victims of bombing. The Committee makes decisions concerning the budget.

The Parliamentary Committee is sub-divided into specialised bodies such as the sub-committee for "Civic Engagement" or "New Media". In autumn 2003, a Commission of Enquiry or "Enquete-Kommission" on culture in Germany was set up for a limited period. It was comprised of 11 members of Parliament and 11 independent experts. The main task of the Commission was to examine a broad range of issues related to cultural policy in general and to the support of culture in particular. Due to the early parliamentary elections called in September 2005, the work of the Commission came to a premature end and without a final report. However, a few months later, in December 2005, the Commission of Enquiry was reconvened and worked till autumn 2007.

Following three-year work, the Enquete-Kommission finally presented its final report on 13 November 2007, which will be debated in the winter 2007/2008 in the Bundestag. The 1 000 page long report contains a description of the current situation relating to culture, the arts and artists in Germany in the various sectors, as well as approximately 400 recommendations of action for the different political levels.

Bundesländer and municipalities

The Bundesländer and municipalities are the main actors responsible for cultural policy in Germany. The scope and priority areas can vary greatly from Länder to Länder and from municipality to municipality.

Each of the 16 Bundesländer have their own Parliaments, Parliamentary Committees that deal with cultural affairs and Ministries responsible for culture. As a rule, culture is combined at the Ministerial level with other policy areas, mainly education or science. In such cases, there are specific departments for cultural affairs. Recently, some Länder (federal states) have abandoned this tradition and transferred responsibility for cultural affairs to the Staatskanzlei (Office of the Prime Minister), as has occurred in North Rhine Westphalia, Schleswig-Holstein, Berlin and Bremen.

On the municipal level, cultural affairs fall, in most cases, under the responsibility of specific Kulturdezernenten (Cultural Commissioners) with their own administrative structures. They are responsible for programmes, public cultural institutions such as local theatres, libraries, museums or music schools, etc. Local city and county councils have their own cultural affairs committees.

The individual Länder can transfer budgetary resources for culture to the municipalities at their own discretion. The "Act on the Cultural Areas in the Freistaat of Saxony" is one important example. This Act was initially passed in 1993 for a period of 10 years. In 2003, this period was extended to 2007 and has been extended once more until 2011. It stipulates that 86.6 million euros should be transferred from the budget of the Land to 9 rural and 3 urban areas to support cultural institutions and activities of regional and trans-regional importance. In other Länder (e. g. Baden-Wurttemberg), support for individual sectors, for example theatre, is given in the form of co-financing, the amount of which is determined on the basis of a fixed percentage of the total spending invested by the municipality. In some cases, resources are transferred from the Länder to the municipalities for activities which are not necessarily cultural.

On 1 September 2006, a reform of the federal system came into effect. This has involved a re-distribution of competences between the federal government and the Länder in some policy areas. In the field of culture, the federal government (or level) assumed more responsibilities with respect to culture in the capital, Berlin, and to the conservation of cultural heritage. German representation in the field of cultural policy within the European Union (Article 23, Abs. 6 GG) has been given greater weight. Because the federal government is prohibited from co-financing cultural projects (Article 91b GG), the possibilities of supporting cultural education projects are limited.

Non-governmental actors

In addition to government bodies and actors, there is a host of actors involved in supporting different forms of cultural work and cultural programmes such as: radio and television broadcasters, business-sector institutions, various groups in society (churches, unions, and associations), civic organisations and initiatives, clubs and private individuals.

This extensive network of intermediaries between the state and the culture scene complements public-sector activity and is indispensable for a vibrant and progressive cultural life in Germany. Pluralism of sponsors and vehicles of culture is a structural and important element of the system which is also indicated in the Constitution and the laws governing Germany's cultural sector. The various forms of commercial cultural activities likewise play an important role in the nation's cultural life.

As a rule, there is no organised form of co-operation or coordination of cultural activities between "the state" and this diverse network of non-governmental actors. There are, however, more and more instances where public cultural affairs administrations at the Federal, Land and local level are cooperating with intermediaries (arms-length bodies) in order to implement their support programmes or to generate sponsorship for cultural institutions.

Germany/ 2. Competence, decision-making and administration

2.3 Inter-ministerial or intergovernmental co-operation

There is no official body in charge of coordinating cultural policy initiatives, programmes and measures undertaken by all levels of government.

The Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs of the Länder in the Federal Republic of Germany (KMK) acts as a platform for co-operation and exchange among the Länder.

Co-operation platforms also exist at the municipal level through local authority associations such as the German Association of Cities, the German Association of Towns and Municipalities, and the Association of German Counties. These associations have created specialised divisions and cultural affairs committees to address specific topics which may also be relevant at the Länder and Federal levels. The sub-committees prepare recommendations which are submitted to the respective local authorities for consideration.

The office of the Federal Commissioner for Cultural and Media Affairs (BKM) cooperates with the KMK on specific subjects as needed. Regular communication takes place on a working level. Representatives of the BKM regularly attend meetings of the KMK's Committee for European and International Affairs and the Film Committee of the Länder.

Consultation and coordination of cultural policy between the Länder and their municipalities is handled in a number of ways. In addition to bilateral contacts between the relevant ministry and individual municipalities, consultations take place between the ministry and the local authority associations on issues of significance for the Land as a whole. In several municipalities, specific offices have been created to facilitate supraregional cooperation. In other municipalities this type of cooperation is accomplished by Regional Conferences on Cultural Affairs.

The various levels of government have rather different approaches to the systematic integration of culture into other policy areas and to strategic planning. However, dwindling resources at all governmental levels have encouraged greater inter-ministerial coordination in terms of the definition of goals and the use of resources.

Within the general process of intensifying transversal debates across different policy areas, the Federal Chancellery organised a summit in July 2006 on intercultural dialogue and integration. A "culture and integration" working group was set up within the office of the Federal Commissioner for Cultural and Media Affairs, with members drawn from the different levels of government: federal, Länder and municipalities, plus representatives of non-governmental organisations. The task force produced a paper that forms part of the "National Plan of Integration" (Nationaler Integrationsplan) which was passed at the second integration summit in July 2007.

Germany/ 2.4 International cultural co-operation

2.4.1 Overview of main structures and trends

Since the debate on a new conception of foreign cultural policy in the 1960s, it has been considered the third pillar of foreign affairs. During the 1980s, first ideas to shape this policy in a more dialogue-oriented way came up, e.g. in conferences organised by the Auswärtiges Amt (German Federal Foreign Office). The latter continues to be the main actor in this field, despite a growing influence of local and regional bodies and NGOs. Since the end of the 1990s, there has been intensive discussion on new aims and instruments of foreign cultural policy, which was reflected, for example, in the position paper "Konzeption 2000" and the "Aktionsplan zivile Krisenprävention, Konfliktlösung und Friedenskonsolidierung" (Action Plan for Civil Crisis Prevention, Conflict Resolution and Peace Consolidation). Following the political change on the federal level in 2005, and the major coalition between the conservatives (CDU / CSU) and the social democrats (SPD), a new debate on the role of foreign cultural policy ensued. In 2006 and 2007, major conferences were held to highlight the new political importance attributed to foreign cultural policies and to discuss the future developments.

In the last 20 years, foreign cultural policy has repeatedly suffered from cuts in funding, which in part have led to the closure of a number of branches of the Goethe Institute. This adverse trend came to an end in 2005. This higher place of cultural foreign policy on political agendas has been underlined by changes in the federal budget. Against the former trends, funding for foreign cultural policies increased again in 2007 and 2008.

Germany/ 2.4 International cultural co-operation

2.4.2 Public actors and cultural diplomacy

Article 32 (1) of the Constitution states: "Relations with foreign states shall be conducted by the Federal Government". Following from this article, the Federal authorities and Parliament are responsible for foreign cultural policy.

The political guidelines establishing the priorities for foreign cultural policy are formulated and coordinated by the Foreign Office. The Federal Commissioner for Cultural and Media Affairs is responsible for a number of important fields, for example foreign broadcasting services or the restitution of art works ("looted art"). Other federal ministries, such as the Federal Ministry of Education and Research or the Ministry for Economic Co-operation are also active in foreign cultural policy, although to a much lesser extent than the Foreign Office and the Federal Commissioner. There has been a Committee for External Cultural Policy in the German Federal Parliament (Bundestag) since 1969.

The most important areas of foreign cultural policy (including education) are cross-border co-operation in education and science, international cultural dialogue, promotion of the German language abroad, and exchanges in the fields of art, music and literature. For the most part, this policy is implemented by intermediary organisations funded by the Federal Ministry for Foreign Affairs such as: the Goethe-Institut (GI), the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), the Institute for Foreign Cultural Relations (IfA), the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (AvH), and the German UNESCO Commission (DUK). They are free to create their own programmes.

The relevant bodies of the Länder cooperate closely with the Federal Government in the field of foreign cultural policy. Municipalities and civil society groups are actively involved in cultural work abroad.

Germany/ 2.4 International cultural co-operation

2.4.3 European / international actors and programmes

International co-operation in the cultural sphere is taking on increasing significance. A particularly important example in this context is the intensified efforts to cultivate a dialogue between cultures. In 2005, the German National Commission for UNESCO was particularly active in the process of developing and passing a convention on protecting and promoting the diversity of cultural expressions as an international legal instrument. In February 2007, the German parliament passed the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions and simultaneously the UNESCO Convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage (UNESCO-Übereinkommen zum Kulturgüterschutz), 35 years after this document was signed by the UNESCO and several countries.

Europe-wide co-operation in the area of culture has evolved since 1992 on the basis of Article 151 (formerly Article 128) of the Treaty Establishing the European Community. Member states work together to adopt common legal framework, such as Directive 96/100/EC on the return of cultural objects unlawfully removed from the territory of a member state and through specific programmes facilitating co-operation among the member states themselves and between the member states and neighbouring third countries such as Culture (2007-2013), Europe for Citizens, MEDIA 2007 and the European Capital of Culture.

During the German EU presidency in the first half-year 2007, special attention was given to the topic of European cultural policies and their closer association with national cultural policies. This issue formed part of three large international cultural policy congresses: the UNESCO convention on "Cultural Diversity" of the German UNESCO Commission (April 2007, Essen); on the "Culture Industries" by the Friedrich Naumann Foundation (May 2007, Berlin) and on "culture.powers.europe. - europe.powers.culture." by the Association for Cultural Policy (June 2007, Berlin).

In March 2006, in the context of the preparations for "Ruhr 2010", when the Ruhr district will be European Culture Capital, representatives from 31 Ruhr district cities and 92 European twin cities came together in Essen, Dortmund and Duisburg, to discuss the issues of "urbanity", "identity" and "integration" and agreed upon further co-operation. (TWINS).

Germany/ 2.4 International cultural co-operation

2.4.4 Direct professional co-operation

In addition to the longstanding international town twinning arrangements, communities in all the Länder have entered into bilateral or multilateral regional partnerships with comparable territorial communities or authorities of other countries, primarily - but not exclusively - in Europe. This cross-border cultural exchange is particularly lively in the so-called "Euregios" (Saar-Lor-Lux, Euregio Egrensis, Euroregion Erzgebirge e. V., Euroregion Elbe / Labe, and the Communal Association of the Euroregion Neisse).

Since the 1970s, many private actors, professional organisations (e.g. of theatres, museums or libraries) and informal networks have started to develop their own international relations and exchange programmes, which are not necessarily linked any more with the official foreign policy.

Germany/ 2.4 International cultural co-operation

2.4.5 Cross-border intercultural dialogue and co-operation

There are no special government programmes to support trans-national intercultural dialogue, except through the instruments and institutions that were mentioned under 2.4.1 to 2.4.4. The majority of these bodies are very active in this field. An important actor is the Federal Cultural Foundation (Bundeskulturstiftung), with many programmes and projects on cross-border intercultural dialogue ( Some private foundations, such as the Bosch-Stiftung, are also very active in this field.

Central to the content and orientation of intercultural dialogue is the debate with the Islamic world and Islamic culture, stimulated by the issues presented by fundamental Islamism. Another main focus is dialogue with countries and cultures in Asia, in particular China, Japan and Korea.

For more information, see our Intercultural Dialogue section

Germany/ 2.4 International cultural co-operation

2.4.6 Other relevant issues

Information is currently not available.

Germany/ 3. General objectives and principles of cultural policy

3.1 Main elements of the current cultural policy model

Cultural policy in Germany is based on a federal model. It is governed by the principles of decentralisation, subsidiarity and plurality; a tradition rooted in the nation's historical development and reaffirmed in its Constitution.

All levels of government operate within a Constitutional framework which specifies their respective competence in the cultural field (see 2.2). They are supposed to cooperate within one another on cultural matters - Kulturföderalismus - by jointly supporting cultural institutions and activities. In reality, there is a high degree of competition among the different Länder, towns, cultural institutions, artists and other intermediaries.

An important objective influencing the development of cultural policy throughout Germany, is to find a balance between public-sector responsibility for ensuring the existence and funding of cultural institutions and programmes without government interference in cultural activities. The Constitution guarantees freedom of the arts (Article 5 (3)) which not only provides the basis for artistic autonomy and self-governing rights of cultural institutions and organisations but also stipulates a form of protection from state directives and regulation of content. Accordingly, the state is responsible for actively encouraging, supporting and upholding this artistic freedom in what is referred to as a Kulturstaat (cultural state).

This approach to cultural policy is primarily supply-oriented. This means that the majority of cultural infrastructure is governed under the rule of law and is supported by the government - mainly by the individual Länder and by the cities. More recently, there have been discussions concerning the privatisation of public services and institutions which has intensified efforts to promote more efficient arts management. As a result, there is a greater receptiveness to public-private partnership models and a willingness to privatise some cultural institutions.

For a number of years there has been an ongoing debate regarding a greater pooling of resources among the different levels of government. Prompted by the problematic financial situation of many Länder, the Federal Government has been called upon to co-finance "landmark cultural institutions". A precedent was set for its involvement in the 1990 Unification Treaty calling on the Federal Government to support cultural institutions located in the Länder of the former GDR. This is especially important for cultural institutions located in the new capital city, Berlin, which face a plethora of structural and financial problems as a consequence of German unification and which require substantial support from Federal agencies. Along with additional obligations and competences, this Federal involvement gives agencies a greater say in cultural matters at the national level; a development that is contested by some of the Länder on constitutional grounds.

Germany/ 3. General objectives and principles of cultural policy

3.2 National definition of culture

There is no binding definition of culture that could serve as the basis for cultural programmes and measures in Germany. In contrast to the situation in the first two decades after the founding of the Federal Republic of Germany, one can safely say that the cultural philosophies of the democratic parties at all levels of government no longer significantly differ. One reason for this convergence is the intense cultural policy debate that began in the early 1970s in the context of the "New Cultural Policy" (see 1). This debate led to a broadening of the narrow concept of culture prevailing in the 1950s and 1960s, which had been very strongly oriented towards the traditional cultural value system handed down for generations, to include new content and focus. The term "culture" today, thus encompasses contemporary creative and artistic activity (both inside and outside the framework of the traditional cultural institutions) as well as the culture of everyday life.

Germany/ 3. General objectives and principles of cultural policy

3.3 Cultural policy objectives

From the very beginning, the "New Cultural Policy" of the 1970s and 1980s reflected the priorities put forward by the Council of Europe on issues related to cultural identity, cultural heritage, cultural diversity and participation in cultural life.

Today, one of the main objectives of cultural policy in the Federal Republic of Germany is to make the arts and cultural events accessible to as many people as possible.

In recent years, there has also been acknowledgment in the cultural field that Germany is a country of immigration. It has also been recognised that cultural policy - particularly at the municipal level - has to take this issue into consideration, which means taking multicultural diversity as a given, integrating the culture of immigrants into cultural policy and for cultural policy to take account of the cultural needs of people with immigrant backgrounds.

Germany/ 4. Current issues in cultural policy development and debate

4.1 Main cultural policy issues and priorities

The collapse of the system in Eastern Europe and the unification of Germany in 1989/90 produced new cultural tasks, both within the Federal Republic of Germany and in its relations with European neighbours.

The difficult financial situation of all public funds has been a determining factor in cultural policy discussions on the municipal and Länder level since the mid-1990s, and increasingly so since the turn of the century.

In the past five years, discussions and action (on the part of both public and private actors) have focused on:

Capital Culture

In the early 1990s, the Bundestag (German Parliament), the Bundesrat (Council made up of representatives from the 16 Länder) and the Bundesregierung (Federal Government) all moved to Germany's new capital city Berlin. The transfer of power from Bonn (former capital) to Berlin underscored the national cultural significance of the new capital and led to a growing commitment on the part of the Federal government to support cultural life in the city. In this context, a "Capital Culture Contract" was signed between the Federal Government and the Land Berlin which specifies areas of support, namely:

The Capital Culture Fund, set up to support projects in Berlin, is also financed by the Federal Government.

Greater federal competence for cultural affairs

In 1998, the Federal Government was given greater competence in the field of culture through the creation of a Federal Commissioner for Cultural Affairs and the Media (renamed Federal Commissioner for Cultural and Media Affairs) and a corresponding Parliamentary Committee. This was followed in 2002 by the establishment of a Kulturstiftung des Bundes (Federal Cultural Foundation). While the creation of these bodies was initially highly controversial, there is now greater acceptance of these offices. Nevertheless, debates arise from time to time regarding the reach of the Federal Government's involvement in the cultural field, for example: in 2004 the Bundesrat refused to allow the Federal Government to take over the running of the Berlin Academy of Fine Arts and in 2005 it did not agree to the establishment of a Stiftung Baukultur (Federal Foundation for Architecture). In the meantime, demarcation disputes have been resolved, with both institutions continuing to operate, and a reform of the federal system came into effect in the summer of 2006. Since the summer of 2007, a working group consisting of representatives from the Länder and the federal government has been making proposals for the second part of this reform of federalism, which is supposed to restructure the financial relationship between the political levels.

Streamlining and optimising cultural funding

At the time of the establishment of the Kulturstiftung des Bundes (Federal Cultural Foundation) there was an intense debate between the Federal Government and the Länder regarding measures to streamline and optimise the system for funding cultural activities and a merger between the Kulturstiftung der Länder (Cultural Foundation of the Länder) and the Kulturstiftung des Bundes. Negotiations to merge both foundations failed in December 2003, and the Federal Government terminated its commitment to the Cultural Foundation of the Länder at the end of 2005. In December 2006, negotiations failed again and both foundations arranged for closer cooperation instead of unification.

Since 2006, an extensive process of evaluation of cultural funding began in the field of cultural policy on all levels.

Legal regulations

Since 1998, the Federal Government has launched legal reforms in the area of Foundation Law (especially with regard to taxation), Copyright Law and the Law Governing Social Insurance for Artists. In summer and autumn 2006, a Draft Bill for New Regulations on Copyright Law, submitted by the Federal Government, caused a great deal of debate with respect to payments to artists. It has enacted legislation to safeguard the system of fixed book prices and has extended support to the film sector under the Federal Film Promotion Act. In 2006, the Federal Government agreed on a new measure of support for the film industry, providing 60 Million euros per annum; this will come into effect at the beginning of 2007 (see 5.3.6).

The Federal Government has broadened the scope of support for: research on German culture and history in Eastern and Central Europe under section 96 of the Federal Expellees Act (see 5.3.10) and; memorials commemorating the victims of dictatorship.

Repatriation of unlawfully seized cultural assets

Since the fall of the Iron Curtain, international discussions concerning the repatriation of cultural assets unlawfully seized from their rightful owners during World War II have led to the return of individual objects of art. The Federal Government, including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Commissioner for Cultural and Media Affairs, in consultation with the Länder, is negotiating the return of specific items from neighbouring countries. In July 2003, an advisory commission was set up concerning the return of cultural assets, especially Jewish property that had been seized from their rightful owners during the National Socialist Era. Its task is to mediate restitution claims, especially in difficult cases. Its members are renowned scientists and prominent personalities. Since autumn 2006, a far-reaching debate on the restitution of works of art began, prompted by the return of a famous painting by Ernst Ludwig Kirchner by the government of Berlin to the heirs of the former owner, since it was claimed that the latter had been forced to sell it in the 1930s. Subsequently, a number of similar files became public. Museums are intensifying the research on the provenance of their works of art (Provenienzforschung) and have been supported by special funds.

UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions

The process to develop a UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions as an international legal instrument has been supported by the German Commission for UNESCO with active support from civil society actors, the German Bundestag and the Federal Commissioner for Cultural and Media Affairs. A nation-wide "Coalition for Cultural Diversity" was established and met 4 times during the year 2004 to discuss the draft Convention from a German perspective.

The initiative was paramount in raising awareness of the inherent dangers to public support for culture which could arise from WTO international trade agreements (e. g. GATS) or the EU Services Directive. The Federal Government of Germany signed the convention in September 2006. The German Parliament passed the convention on 1 February 2007.

Constitutional protection for culture

Growing problems of funding public cultural institutions have led to initiatives and discussions calling for more legal protection on the maintenance of cultural infrastructure and on "basic cultural needs". A proposal has been made by an Enquete-Kommission (Parliamentary Commission of Enquiry) to include the protection of and support to culture as an article in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Germany. For more information see the report of the Enquete-Kommission: In autumn 2007, a new imitative of parliamentarians from several parties started to anchor culture as a national objective in the constitution (Staatsziel "Kultur").

Civic commitment

In the past centuries, public involvement in cultural life was fuelled by civic initiatives in specific disciplines, institutions and projects; such initiatives were particularly strong in those cities that were not residencies of the ruling nobility which had founded their own cultural institutions. Stifled during the National Socialist era and submerged in the decades thereafter, this civic commitment has meanwhile resurfaced, manifesting itself in an increase in, for example, membership to friends'-of-societies, volunteer work, endowments and sponsorship / co-financing. There are also a growing number of cultural activities and institutions that are supported by different kinds of civic initiatives. Cultural policy makers, who have long thought solely in terms of state financing, as well as specialists in the field and the general public, are now adapting to this development. Following on from the work of the Parliamentary Commission of Enquiry on Civic Commitment, in the legislative period ending 2005, a Committee on Civic Commitment was established in the newly elected German Bundestag (Parliament). In July 2007, the Bundestag passed a Law on the Stabilisation of Civic Commitment, which raised tax free allowances for training supervisors to 2 100 euro and donations were raised uniformly to 20% of the income.

Responding to a cultural public with increasingly diversifying needs

The members of the culturally interested public are less and less inclined to embrace a narrow approach to culture expressed through specific institutions, their programmes and events. Their receptiveness to and desire for participation in cultural activities vary widely and are highly individualised. As a result, urban cultural institutions, projects and events have multiplied and diversified to a hitherto unheard-of degree in the past two decades. Due to its relatively narrow focus of support - especially in times marked by financial constraints - Länder and municipal cultural policy has been unable to react in a sufficiently flexible manner. Therefore, more demand-driven approaches to state and municipal support to culture have been proposed.

Migrants, cultural diversity, intercultural co-operation

The high number of ethnic groups - whose members in some cases constitute up to 30 % of the population in mainly western German cities - has long been acknowledged. Numerous associations for members of different ethnic groups have emerged in urban areas; over 200 during the past ten years in Hamburg alone. Acting on their own initiative, these associations work to further intercultural understanding and co-operation. In many cities there are funding programmes to support and encourage their efforts. This type of cultural work, which has long been practised at the local level, was long time unknown at the Federal and Land levels. Meanwhile, the debate on multiculturalism and the related challenges to cultural policy continued, involving many cultural policy participants at each level. In the interest of national cultural cohesion, efforts to further intercultural understanding will be one of the most important aspects of cultural policy at all levels of government in the years to come (see 2.3, 3.3, 4.2.1 and 4.2.2).

Outsourcing public sector tasks

In the context of the international "new public management approaches" and the ever greater financial constraints at all levels, efforts have been stepped up to modernise policy administration systems and the structure of cultural institutions. The aims have been to increase efficiency, enhance transparency and proximity to the citizen, reorient services and redefine objectives. To this end, for instance, some public institutions have been privatised, benchmarking procedures tested, and public-sector tasks delegated or outsourced to third parties. Private commercial and voluntary non-profit organisations have been more widely acknowledged as partners of the public sector in the field of cultural policy. Cooperative arrangements and private-public partnerships are being encouraged and civic commitment accorded a more prominent role. In recent years, this reform process has slowed down. Some Länder have even revoked certain reforms, for example, the Land Lower Saxony cancelled the outsourcing of support to socio-cultural projects to a non-government organisation.

Germany/ 4.2 Recent policy issues and debates

4.2.1 Cultural minorities, groups and communities

The Federal Republic of Germany ratified the Council of Europe's Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities. Under this Convention, which entered into force for Germany on 1 February 1998, the autochthonous (i. e. resident) minorities and ethnic groups with German nationality living in Germany are protected. These are the Danes, the North Frisians, the Sater Frisians, the Sorbs and the German Sinti and Roma. The Federal Government and the Länder provide substantial funding to these groups. Preservation of the Sorb cultural and ethnic identity is guaranteed under an interstate agreement concluded between Land Brandenburg and the Freistaat of Saxony on 28 August 1998 (where traditionally the largest settlement of Sorbs is found).

The above groups are distinguished from immigrants and "Germans with an immigrant background". Whereas the above-mentioned indigenous minorities all consist of very small populations (e.g. the Sorbs numbering at most 60 000; Sinti and Roma approx. 70 000; Danish minority 8 - 50 000), immigrants and "Germans with an immigrant background" constitute a considerable proportion of the population living in Germany. In 2006, 7.32 million foreigners had their principal residence in Germany (8.9 % of the population), in addition to 8.01 million Germans with an immigrant background (9.7 %), together making 15.33 million out of a total population of 82.46 million (18.6 %).

While the "Germans with an immigrant background" have the same political rights as all other Germans, they still frequently suffer from discrimination in everyday life, at school, in seeking accommodation and in the work-place. Foreigners living in Germany are subject to a variety of regulations. Following the reform of the Law Concerning Foreign Residents (1990) and of Citizenship (2000), the Immigration Law of 2005 was a third major political issue on the way to acknowledge the Federal Republic as a country of immigration, resulting in an improvement of the situation for people from other cultures and countries living here. Binding regulations for immigration and integration were established for the first time in Germany and were officially approved. This is an important development as many conservative politicians refused for a long time to acknowledge that Germany is a country of immigration.

For some years, the integration of people of differing ethnic backgrounds, religious orientation and cultural traditions has been regarded not only as a central task of society but increasingly also as a significant challenge to cultural work and cultural policy. Meanwhile, a very diverse intercultural practice has evolved, but in this field there is still a considerable need for further development in many large cultural institutions such as theatres, museums and symphony orchestras. The same is true of cultural policy.

In a growing number of towns (for instance Stuttgart, Nuremberg, Dortmund, Essen, Osnabrück) and Länder (for example North Rhine-Westfalia), programme-based cultural policies are endowed with sufficient public funding for ethnic minorities and Germans with a migration background. Over the last years, there has been a discussion on the need for cultural policy to accord greater attention to the cultural interests and rights to participation and self-organisation of ethnic minorities. In 2006 and 2007, the Chancellor organised two conferences on integration, in Berlin, concerning, among other topics, cultural and cultural policy issues. In addition, a set of country wide conferences were held on cultural policy tasks within intercultural work and intercultural dialogue. They took place in Stuttgart, Bonn, Wolfenbuettel and, in 2008, Nuremberg and Dortmund will follow. In 2006/07, North Rhine-Westphalia presented a programme where six larger cities will be supported to develop cultural policy concepts for intercultural work. Three documents were produced on "Cultural Diversity in the City Community" by the German Association of Cities and Towns (2004); "Stuttgart's Impulse to Cultural Diversity" involving members of cultural organisations (2006); and the cultural part of the "National Integration Plan" of the Federal Government (2007).

Particular attention is currently being focused on the importance of school and pre-school education for the mediation of intercultural expertise and the acceptance of cultural diversity. Concrete stipulations are suggested in several education plans for pre-schools and primary schools of the individual Länder. The German Kulturrat has also elaborated a cultural policy paper named "Interkulturelle Erziehung - eine Chande für unsere Gesellschaft" (Intercultural Education - A Chance for our Society).

There are some special institutions and funding available to promote the art and culture of national and ethnic minorities for the purpose of intercultural exchange. Intercultural programmes are offered or sponsored inter alia by the federally funded House of World Cultures, by the federally endowed Sociocultural Fund and in the context of projects (such as the celebrations of foreign cultures) launched by individual Länder and numerous municipalities.

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4.2.2 Language issues and policies

German is the official language in the Federal Republic of Germany and the language used in schools, the media and other forms of communication. Cultivation of the German language is the task of all groups in society. Learning the German language is also an important prerequisite for the integration of foreigners living in Germany. Improvement of the language skills of immigrants and foreign residents is, therefore, a focus of efforts to further their integration. In addition to programmes of the Länder and the municipalities, the Federal Government funds a multitude of measures to promote language learning. A broad range of courses are also offered by the private sector.

Dialects of the German language are cultivated and promoted on a regional and local basis. The European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages entered into force in Germany on 1 January 1999. Under this Charter, Niederdeutsch is protected as a regional language, and funding is provided to further its use in the Länder where it is spoken. Minority languages that are protected benefit from funding provided by the Federal Government and the Länder in which they are spoken. Languages of the minorities traditionally residing in Germany (i. e. autochthonous minorities) are protected under the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities including: Danish, North Frisian, Sater Frisian, Sorbian and the Romany language spoken by German Sinti and Roma.

Germany/ 4.3 Recent policy issues and debates

4.2.3 Intercultural dialogue: actors, strategies, programmes

Intercultural dialogue in Germany refers both to discussions within the country (with population groups that have an immigrant background), and those at an international level. In the global context, the principal actors and programmes in Germany are those of foreign cultural policy. In addition to the institutions already mentioned in 2.4.2, the following are particularly important: the Goethe Institute, the Institute for Cultural Exchange, the House of Cultures of the World and the Foreign Office and the German National Commission for UNESCO (Deutsche UNESCO-Kommission - DUK). Central to the activities of the DUK, in the last two years, have been debates on the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expression, which included a broad alliance of political and social actors (see 4.1).

Many cultural institutions of various kinds in towns and cities are committed to intercultural dialogue and have developed numerous programmes and activities. These activities often link intercultural dialogue with people who have an immigrant background living in Germany, with global cultural dialogue, for example, intercultural theatre, music and film festivals or the Carnival of the Cultures, a parade of various ethnic and cultural groups, which takes places on the streets of e.g. Berlin, Bielefeld or Frankfurt.

For more information, see:
Database of Good Practice on Intercultural Dialogue and our Intercultural Dialogue section.

For more information on the government's National Strategy for the European Year of Intercultural Dialogue please see:

Germany/ 4.3 Recent policy issues and debates

4.2.4 Social cohesion and cultural policies

The objectives of the new cultural policy in Germany largely reflect requirements and aims corresponding to the Council of Europe's definition of "social cohesion". In addition, they are of increasing importance with respect to equality of cultural opportunities, cultural diversity and intercultural dialogue.

In this context, the 1999 integrated Action Programme of the Federal Government and Länder, which has been given the title "Social Town" (Soziale Stadt), is also of interest. 260 cities and other local authorities are participating in 360 programme areas in order to counteract social and spatial division. Concrete areas of activity include "Urban District Culture"(Stadtteilkultur), "Social Activities and Social Infrastructure", as well as "Different Social and Ethnic Groups Living Together" ( In 2006, North Rhine-Westphalia alone made 40 million euros available for this programme.

Social Town Programme: The positive impact that culture and the arts have on the process of cultural integration and social cohesion is increasingly being acknowledged. Only a few local or Länder authorities, however, run concrete programmes and projects. Some Länder, such as North Rhine-Westfalia (NRW), have special funding programmes.

Local authorities (like Nürnberg or Stuttgart) and public or private cultural institutions (like cultural centres) continue to be the main actors in this field. On the other hand, public foundations take into account the social impact of culture and the arts. The Federal Cultural Foundation ("Shrinking Cities") and the Cultural Foundation of the Länder ("Kinder zum Olymp") may be highlighted in this aspect, both co-operating with civil society institutions. The cultural activities of the churches are also growing in significance.

Exchange of experiences and best practice between actors and institutions (also via the internet) helps to accelerate communication and adoption of new ideas and conceptions. Addressing audiences, especially those rather remote from the arts, is at the heart of projects that have a major concern with social cohesion. Experiments such as employing artists in public schools (NRW) or projects by theatres or orchestras working in social contexts, such as town districts, residential homes for elderly people, hospitals etc., are examples which are seen as both innovative and effective. There has been a certain revival of social and cultural ideas of the seventies and eighties, where cultural policy had a focus on the social impact of culture and arts as it is expressed with the term "Socialculture" ("Soziokultur").

Themes linked to a value-based cultural policy are - among others - being discussed in the so-called "guiding culture debate" ("Leitkultur-Debatte"). This has an impact on the formation of public opinion. Themes like trust, respect, appreciation etc. play a major role here. Discussion, however, is only just starting. A debate, which is already more advanced, concerns topics like voluntary work, empowerment, participation, etc. Another focus of research and debate has been on the question of whether it is necessary to promote social cohesion more so than what is prescribed in the Constitution and laws of the country; the latter stating the values of society including the tradition of Christianity and Enlightenment. The initiative for the recent debate was taken by the president of the Federal Parliament Norbert Lammert.

Germany/ 4.2 Recent policy issues and debates

4.2.5 Media pluralism and content diversity

Only in recent years have the media become a greater focus of public cultural policy in the narrower sense. Prior to this, only measures to promote the film sector were adopted by both the Federal Government and the Länder in order to further the development of film as an element of the country's cultural heritage and to support it as a national culture industry.

Television and radio programmes in Germany are produced and broadcasted by both public corporations and private firms (the so-called "dual system" of broadcasting). All broadcasters, however, agree that programme content should help to promote the cultural diversity of the regions and the country as a whole. Article 6 of the Interstate Broadcasting Agreement of 31 August 1991 (as amended by the Sixth Act to Amend the Interstate Broadcasting Agreement) stipulates that "television broadcasters shall reserve the greater part of total time scheduled for the transmission of feature films, television plays, series, documentaries and comparable productions for European works in accordance with European law". There are nevertheless no official quotas to which the broadcasters must adhere. Culture and media policy in the Federal Republic of Germany has thus far reflected the view that the imposition of quotas - also in regard to certain groups - is an unsuitable instrument for the promotion of European films and television productions.

Media policy formulated at the European level is also taking on increasing importance for the relation between the media and culture. The EU Television Without Frontiers Directive of 1989/1997 is playing a particularly prominent role in this context. As a result of the - in some cases breathtakingly - rapid pace of technological developments in the media sector, the EU Television Without Frontiers Directive will be revised in the next few years. In the course of this revision, attention will also be given to other Community regulatory instruments affecting the media.

Binding on the press, publishers and audiovisual mass media are the general provisions of the Law Against Limitations on Competition (Gesetz gegen Wettbewerbsbeschränkungen - GWU), as the central standard of German law on cartels and competition. The original version, dating from 1957, has been amended several times - the comprehensive 7th Amending Bill came into force in November 2005 - and is regularly brought into line with European legislation on competition, most recently in November 2006. The GWU is supervised by the Federal Cartel Office, a Federal authority based in Bonn, or, where only individual states are affected, by Land cartel authorities. In recent years, the Federal Cartel Office has frequently forbidden mergers between publishing houses or TV companies.

The balance between fiction programming produced locally and foreign productions is markedly different in public television companies and commercial ones. In 2005, in the two big public broadcasting corporations ARD and ZDF, the share of German-made productions (including co-productions) was 66% and 61% respectively. European productions made up 10% and 13% and US productions 21% and 20%. In the case of the two big private broadcasters SAT1 and RTL, German productions made up 62% and 50%, European programmes - 2% and 1%, and US programmes - 35% and 46%. In the third large private TV broadcaster PRO7, German productions had a share of only 8%, US programmes - 78% and those from European countries had a share of 3%.

Germany/ 4.2 Recent policy issues and debates

4.2.6 Culture industries: policies and programmes

The culture industries are a separate and autonomous pillar of cultural life in the Federal Republic of Germany.

Generally, the cultural field is divided into three sectors: private cultural enterprises, state or municipal publicly financed institutions or activities like theatre, cultural heritage, monuments, libraries, museums, etc. and not-for-profit, intermediary organisations, foundations, associations etc.

Kulturwirtschaft refers to all private businesses and independent contractors operating in the different fields of the cultural sector such as: music markets; film and other audio-visual productions; the distribution of books; literature and art markets; craft persons / artisans; freelance artists; private theatre and musical enterprises. Between 1991 and 2000, the real value created by the cultural sector and the publishing sector together rose from 29 billion euros to 32.7 billion euros (at constant prices). This amounts to 4/5 of the value created by the chemical industry and is about equal to that of the food industry (see Michael Söndermann: "Zur Lage der Kulturwirtschaft in Deutschland 1999/2000" in: Jahrbuch für Kulturpolitik 2001).

In addition to the culture industries, in the narrower sense, the internationally more commonly used term "creative industries" is now also becoming more significant in Germany. The latter also includes advertising (2003: approx. 13.7 billion euros) and software / games (2003: approx. 21.4 billion euros) and, in 2003, had a total turnover of 117 billion euros.

According to the current statistics of the Arbeitskreis Kulturstatistik (ARKStat e.V.), as of November 2006, the turnover of the culture industries in Germany fell by 11.8% between 2000 and 2003 (inclusive), from 92.8 billion euros to 81.5 billion euros. (In the same period, the creative industries (see above) saw a drop of 7.8 %.) Among the losers in the sector were, in particular: the film industry / TV-production (-31.0%) and publishing and recording (-10.0%). Architecture (-18.6%) and Design (-12.7%) also experienced decreases in turnover. Only the software / games branch, which is not included in the culture industries definition above, was able to show an impressive increase in turnover from 17.7 billion euros to 21.5 billion euros (+21.6%). In 2003, with real value creation of 35 billion euros, that is 1.6% of the gross national product, the culture industries achieved a larger share than the software or energy industries at around 30 billion euros each. Despite the falls in turnover in the period 2000-2003 which have been noted, the culture industries were able to achieve higher growth (+39%) than the economy as a whole (+27%) over a longer ten year period from 1994-2003. (See Michael Söndermann: "Kulturwirtschaft", in: Kulturpolitische Mitteilungen, Nr. 116 (I/2007), p. 64-67)

Several Länder have commissioned and published reports on the state of the cultural industries: North Rhine-Westphalia has produced 5 reports; others come from Berlin, Hessen, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Lower Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt. Some cities have also published cultural industries reports, e.g. Aachen, Dortmund and Dresden.

As in other countries, strategic partnerships are increasingly being formed in Germany between the public and private sectors (public-private partnerships) in order to fund cultural projects and institutions. These strategic partnerships are expected to proliferate in the future. Even during periods of sluggish economic activity, the culture industries have been determined as an economic growth factor.

Culture industries have been increasingly supported through cultural policy measures: indirectly through measures like tax exemptions and more directly e.g. though support to a music export office.

In 2007, intense discussions were held on the relevance of culture and creative industries for economic development and the employment situation in Germany. Several large congresses took place. In the Bundestag, two debates were held on this topic (in April and October 2007) and, at the end of October, the interfactional request "Culture and Creative Industries as an Engine for Growth and Employment in Germany and Europe" was discharged The Federal Government, in particular the Ministry of Economic Affairs and the Minister of State for Culture, introduced the programme "Culture Initiative and the Creative Industries" as a method of optimising the framework for their growth and to support financially and infrastructurally the "Music Initiative", a core area of the Creative Industries. This topic held an important place in the German EU Presidency, in the first half of 2007.

There are special training and in-service training programmes for professionals in the culture industries, but the overall current position is unclear. At the higher education level, a number of cultural management and cultural marketing courses have been set up in the last ten years, which also provide qualifications for the culture industry sphere (e.g. the Institute for Culture Management at Ludwigsburg College of Education, the Academy of Music and Theatre, Hamburg, Passau University); they concentrate, however, on management and marketing methods. There are more concrete efforts to provide training - organised by private business - in the individual industry sectors and also, for example, within publicly financed small business start up programmes for art and the culture industries. Exemplary in this area, has been StartART, which forms part of the North Rhine-Westphalia start-up network Go!nrw (, and, within that, the Start Up Centre Culture Industry Aachen (Gründerzentrum Kulturwirtschaft Aachen), In 2007, the Ministry of Economic Affairs of Northrhine-Westphalia started a new programme in this field, particularly for young cultural entrepreneurs and artists with "" (

Germany/ 4.2 Recent policy issues and debates

4.2.7 Employment policies for the cultural sector

According to data compiled by the Working Group on Cultural Statistics (ARKStat) about 815 000 persons were employed in German cultural industries in 2003 (based on EU definitions). Almost one quarter of those (197 000) were self-employed (the trend is rising), whereas the average share of self-employed persons in general employment in Germany amounts to around 10 %. In addition, 150 000 persons were employed in culture-related occupations outside of the cultural sector in production, trade, and private or public services. A total of 965 000 employed persons accounted for a share of 2.7 % of the total work force in Germany (36.2 million), which is comparable to the employment potential of the agricultural sector (895 000 persons). This share places Germany in the medium range in a European comparison, between France, Italy or Spain (ranging form 2.0 to 2.2 %) and the UK, the Netherlands and the Nordic countries, which range from 3.0 to 3.5 %.

Out of a total of 815 000 persons employed in 2003, 618 000 (= 75.8 %) were employees; more than 70 % (444 000 persons) of these were liable to social security deductions - this trend is decreasing. The remaining 174 000 persons were employed in mini-jobs, part-time or project-related contracts - this trend is rising. While the cultural sector showed an above-average economic dynamic during the mid-1990s (with a 5-year increase of more than 20 % as compared to a general growth in employment of 2 %), it slowed down between 1999 and 2004 to a rate of 7.2 %, which is clearly below the top results of the past decade. However, compared to a decrease in general employment of 2 % during the same period, this is still a remarkable development. For more statistical information see M. Söndermann: "Beschäftigung im Kultursektor in Deutschland 2003/2004. Ergebnisse aus der Kulturstatistik"; Jahrbuch für Kulturpolitik 2005, 459-477; "Der Kultursektor als Beschäftigungs - und Wirtschaftsfaktor in Europa"; Jahrbuch für Kulturpolitik 2007, 387-406. Internet:

The extent to which the cultural sector figures in labour market policy has been the subject of discussion for many years. Thus far, however, this discussion has had no sustained practical impact. While ideas and suggestions have been floated and small-scale programmes implemented at the Land level to generate employment in the cultural sector (such as the funding of centres for culture industry business start-ups in North Rhine-Westphalia), no national cultural policy strategy has been developed.

The new Bundesländer, but also some structurally weak regions in the west part of Germany, have repeatedly attracted EU funds to support employment in the cultural sector. These funds have been used to support, for example, the development of municipal cultural planning (in Brandenburg) or the training of cultural managers in the rural districts of Lower Saxony, co-financed by the Land and the Federal Agency of Labour.

Indirect employment effects for the cultural sector are also generated through other EU Structural Funds. The European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund (EAGGF) is often used to finance the restoration of protected monuments like castles and churches or for the protection and restoration of cultural heritage in the context of rural development. The Land Brandenburg derived funding from the European Programme for Regional Development (EFRE) to create a municipal investment programme for culture. In North-Rhine-Westphalia, the Ruhrgebiet has benefited the most from the Structural Funds, e. g. to develop the Zeche Zollverein in Essen, which is on the UNESCO list of World Cultural Heritage.

Therefore employment measures in the Bundesländer are at least indirectly supported via the Social Funds and Structural Funds of the EU as well as from economic and investment support programmes of the Länder and the Federal Government (e. g. the Investment Support Law), which are increasingly being opened up to the culture sector.

Germany/ 4.2 Recent policy issues and debates

4.2.8 New technologies and cultural policies

The information society has considerable untapped potential for improving productivity and enhancing the quality of life. This potential is growing as a result of the technological development of broadband and wireless access, i. e. the possibility of accessing the Internet not only via PC but also via digital TV and 3G devices. Drawing a clear line between teleservices (individual use) and media services (available to the general public, of relevance to publishing) is extraordinarily difficult. These technological developments are opening up not only new economic and social opportunities but new cultural opportunities as well. New services, applications and content will afford easy access to information and communication vehicles and further "electronic integration", social cohesion and cultural diversity. All in all, from the perspective of cultural policy, the positive effects associated with digitalisation outweigh the negative.

The Internet opens up new scope for creativity, brings people closer together - performing musicians and their listeners, for example - and tends to break down high brow hegemonic market power structures. In the online environment, intermediaries retain control of the mass market; only on the fringes of the market and in niches has it been possible for new forms of marketing to take hold that concede creative artists greater control over the exploitation of their work.

Globalisation trends in the culture industry are marked by interplay of globalisation and localisation. "Cultural globalisation" is furthered by economic globalisation. As the latter progressively extends the range of markets and the scope of entrepreneurial activity (to the point where corporations are active worldwide), the central cognitive activity associated with "cultural globalisation" manifests itself in a proliferation and intensification of comparative social processes. The Internet changes the cultural significance of near and far - building and strengthening cultural cohesion and a sense of belonging.

Modern communication technologies are of special importance to migrants who, without them, would not be able to keep close contact to their former home countries or their parents and grandparents. Similarly, the new media are of great importance to children and young people. That is why the governments of the Bund, the Länder and the municipalities put a lot of emphasis on media training both inside and outside of formal school learning environments through programmes such as "Schools to the Net" which is jointly financed by the state and computer industries.

Germany/ 4.2 Recent policy issues and debates

4.2.9 Heritage issues and policies

Heritage is a cultural policy priority at all levels of government and includes museums as well as the conservation of historic monuments and sites which bear witness to the country's cultural traditions. The importance of the conservation of historic monuments and sites lies not only in its preservation of cultural heritage but also in its economic significance for the construction industry, in particular specialised small and medium-size businesses. The protection of historic monuments is promoted through government sponsored public relations campaigns, e. g. the "Day of the Monuments".

Germany's immaterial cultural heritage is continuously addressed and examined from a modern perspective in theatrical, musical and literary productions. Municipal and state sponsors of cultural institutions provide facilities for this purpose.

New challenges for cultural heritage policies are posed by the archiving of works and productions of media arts (e.g. video art and digital art), requiring new technologies for documentation and conservation. The Act on the German National-Library, of July 2007, enhanced the displaying of their collection-order although on the internet.

A public debate on the importance of immaterial and material cultural heritage in cultural policy has been going on for several years. It is usually fuelled by large scale projects and events of outstanding political significance in the Federal capital, e. g. the reconstruction of the Stadtschloss (former castle of the Emperor) or the reconstruction of the Museumsinsel in Berlin. The same debate took place in other towns; in 2007, for example, in Braunschweig, relating to the reconstruction of the former castle and, in Frankfurt, relating to the proposal to rebuild a great part of the old town centre dating from the 17th and 18th centuries.

The cancellation of support programmes of the Federal and Länder governments did not go unnoticed by the public, e.g. the programme for "Protection and Maintenance of Cultural Monuments in the New Länder" was intensely discussed. The main issues to be continuously addressed are questions on how many and which monuments from the past the state should protect, reconstruct and maintain and by which measures. The rich, albeit rather dilapidated, heritage of cultural monuments in the East has absorbed huge public funds throughout the 1990s including the reconstruction of historic city centres, parks and gardens (e.g. the Programmes "Urban Construction and Monument Protection" or "Culture in the new Länder"). However, experts estimate that the amount of funding available to date only covers about 50 % of the monuments requiring restoration in the eastern part of Germany.

Cultural monument protection and policies which support the built cultural heritage are under growing pressure in the face of dwindling financial resources and difficulties to find appropriate and economically sound concepts for the use of reconstructed buildings. This also applies to some monuments of industrial culture included on the UNESCO World Heritage List, e.g. the Völklinger Hütte in the Saarland or Zeche Zollverein in Essen (NorthRhine-Westphalia). Financial reasons are only one aspect of the problem; another lies in the widened concept of culture that was developed in the 1970s and 1980s which included objects of everyday life as well as industrial culture - a concept which is no longer generally accepted. The reunification of Germany increased the number of objects worth protecting and reconstructing to an extent that makes the development of new evaluation criteria a necessity.

During 2007, in the city of Dresden, there was controversy over the building of a bridge over the Elbe after the UNESCO World Heritage Committee denied Dresden the title of UNESCO World Heritage Site if the bridge was built, as it would destroy the view of the Elbe valley, decisive in the original awarding of the title. After several dilatory court decisions in November 2007 and against numerous protests, preparatory construction began.

There are frequent discussions on whether objects of industrial spaces can be used in a meaningful and sustainable way by cultural projects because public funds are more and more insufficient to pay for their high maintenance costs. More fundamental cultural policy considerations regarding financial support to works of art and culture from the past leaves little room for support to contemporary living art, thus upsetting the balance between protection of heritage and support to contemporary creativity. Therefore, there is a demand to reconsider the criteria used to determine public support for culture and that expensive cultural institutions such as the theatre and music be modernised and economically streamlined.

The debates in 2006 concerning cultural heritage were focussed on two issues. First, the discussion on the implementation of the UNESCO Convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage (Kulturgüterschutzabkommen) in Germany has been the centre of attention. This Convention came into force in February 2007 - 35 years after its adoption by the General Conference of UNESCO in 1972. The submitted draft bill has been criticised by some actors: in particular representatives of the art trade assume that it is too far-reaching, while other actors complain that the draft bill is unfair to poorer countries.

Secondly, since October 2006, there have been discussions regarding museums and libraries selling works of art in order to acquire funds for the upkeep of cultural institutions. Some municipalities and one Land announced their intention to sell works of art, despite the ongoing debates. However, such moves led to highly controversial public debates and the concerned public authorities were forced to retreat.

In July 2007, the Minister of State for Culture presented a Memorial Place Concept with the title "Notice Responsibility, Strengthen Refurbishment, Deepen Memories". It relates to the memorial places such as the former concentration camps and, on the other hand, memorial places to the memory of the GDR oppression. In November, the Federal Government announced a ‘concept' for the winter of 2007/08 on the German and eastern neighboring countries disputed Documentation Centres on the Fate of the Refugees.

For more information, see
European Heritage Network: Country profile Germany

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4.2.10 Gender equality and cultural policies

Women continue to be underrepresented not only in leadership positions in the cultural policy sector but also in artistic professions and cultural institutions. More recent studies, however, indicate a certain trend towards greater involvement of women in decision-making positions of cultural institutions and in public cultural policy making. Only 16% of the culture departments have women in decision-making positions, but 48% of the culture administrations are led by women. In two of the 16 Lander of the Federal Republic, women hold a position as Minister or State Secretary for Culture.

A number of Land ministries for cultural affairs have budgeted funds to promote cultural activities by and for women or to support independent organisations which promote women in cultural life such as the Frauenkulturbüro NRW, an office for female artists in North Rhine-Westphalia. Numerous cultural institutions and programmes for women have become firmly established at local level as well, such as the Frauen Museum in Bonn and Wiesbaden, the Women's Film Festivals "Feminale" in Cologne and "femme totale" in Dortmund. The cultural activities of the local gender equality offices deserve special mention in this context.

The "Gabriele Münter Prize", is awarded by the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth to professional women artists over the age of 40 for their works.

Germany/ 4. Current issues in cultural policy development and debate

4.3 Other relevant issues and debates

All the relevant issues and debates on cultural policies in recent years are described above.

Germany/ 5.1 General legislation

5.1.1 Constitution

At present, the Federal Constitution for the Republic of Germany (Grundgesetz - GG) includes one phrase referring to culture and the arts: "The arts and science, research, and teaching shall be free." (Article 5.III GG). According to the interpretation of the Constitutional Court, this clause not only stipulates a right for creative artists to protection from state interference but also mandates the state to preserve and promote culture and the arts. This principle was explicitly reaffirmed in Article 35 of the 1990 Unification Treaty. In the past two decades, there have been efforts to insert a more precise "cultural clause" or to include culture among the main goals of the state in the federal constitution. The last of these proposals was issued in 2005 by the Commission of Inquiry set up by the German Parliament entitled "Culture in Germany".

In contrast to the Federal Constitution, the majority of the Länder Constitutions address the arts and culture more specifically - the only exception being the city-state of Hamburg. Three of the Länder - Bavaria, Brandenburg and Saxony - include culture among the main goals of the state in clauses such as: "Bavaria is a legal, cultural and social state" (Article 3.I). Similar or identical to the clause in Article 3.III GG of the Federal Constitution, basic protective rights are found in 11 of the Länder Constitutions. Furthermore, provisions regarding authors' rights can also be found in e. g. the constitution of Hessen: "The rights of authors, inventors and artists enjoy the protection of the state." (Article 46)

Most constitutions of the Länder include pledges for public support to the arts or cultural development, e. g. in clauses such as: "The Land protects and supports cultural life" (Berlin, Article 20.II). In addition, many of the Constitutions oblige the authorities to foster public involvement in the arts and culture, e. g. "The whole people should be given the opportunity to make use of the cultural goods of life." (Rhineland-Palatinate, Article 40.III)

Many Länder Constitutions include legal obligations with regard to specific public responsibilities, such as in the field of heritage protection or adult education and some mention the promotion and protection of cultural traditions of ethnic minorities.

In a wider context, some clauses propose cultural goals for the educational system, such as in the constitution of Bavaria: "Openness to everything that is just, good and beautiful" (Article 131.II) or Thuringia: "Peace-loving and living together with other cultures and peoples" (Article 22).

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5.1.2 Division of jurisdiction

With regard to the division of competence between the federal authorities and the Länder, the Federal Constitution stipulates that "except as otherwise provided or permitted by this Constitution, the exercise of state powers and the discharge of state functions is a matter for the Länder" (Article 30). Legislative and executive powers must therefore be expressly conferred on federal authorities by individual provisions in the Federal Constitution, which has resulted in some responsibilities of relevance for cultural policy. One example is cultural relations with third countries.

There is not much dispute about the role of federal authorities to represent the country in culture matters and particularly in the federal capital Berlin. Other Federal responsibilities relate to the protection of the national and world heritage, the care for specific sites, the protection, acquisition and return of cultural goods of national importance, the funding of important cultural institutions in the Eastern part of Germany ("light towers") and the promotion of cultural unity in the country. Also, the Federal Cultural Foundation (Kulturstiftung des Bundes) falls under the competence of the Federal Government. However, plans to merge this foundation with the Cultural Foundation of the Länder (Kulturstiftung der Länder) were revived by the new grand coalition government elected in 2005, but failed at the end of 2006. Film funding and the governance of the Foundation for Prussian Heritage are matters to be addressed in co-operation with the Länder.

Other public responsibilities in the cultural sphere are usually regulated by the Länder. However, the Länder transferred the majority of responsibility for cultural affairs to the local level (cities, towns and counties), as can be read explicitly in some of their respective Constitutions and municipal codes.

Competence of the municipalities in the cultural field is, on the one hand, enshrined in Article 28.II of the Federal Constitution as well as in various Land constitutions and county and municipal codes.

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5.1.3 Allocation of public funds

In general, there are no legal provisions governing cultural financing in Germany, which would indicate the specific amount and / or means to distribute public funds. Exceptions are the Act on the Cultural Areas in Saxony ("Sächsisches Kulturraumgesetz"), which provides for joint funding of cultural endeavours of regional or supra-regional importance by the Land, the counties and the municipalities, and a cultural treaty for the federal capital, which defines the funds to be allocated by the Federal Government to cultural institutions and activities in Berlin. Additional commitments can be found in the laws establishing public foundations, such as the Federal Culture Foundation or the Foundation for Prussian Heritage and the Foundation "Classic Weimar", with the latter being governed jointly by federal and Länder authorities. There are special laws or regulations governing the respective cultural foundations in many of the Länder.

Beyond these exceptions, the funding for cultural institutions and general cultural activities supported by the federal and Länder authorities is regulated via the annual parliamentary budget appropriations. The same procedures apply for most of the Länder allocations to local cultural institutions and for the cultural budgets of cities and counties.

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5.1.4 Social security frameworks

Artists and journalists / authors in the Federal Republic of Germany enjoy comprehensive social security coverage. When employed, they are covered under the general social security regimes. Self-employed artists and journalists / authors are obliged to join the Artists' Social Insurance Fund (KSK). The special protection for self-employed artists and journalists / authors provided for under the Artists' Social Insurance Act encompasses statutory health, long-term or old age care and pension insurance. Like employees, the artists and journalists / authors must only pay half of the social insurance contribution. Sixty percent of the "employers share" is paid by the firms that regularly exploit and market the work of artists and journalists / authors. The enterprises are charging the artists' social insurance levy on all fees and royalties paid; the level has been set at 4.9 % from 2008 (down from 5.1% in 2007). In addition, the Federal Government provides a subsidy to help fund the "employer's share" with 40 % of the expenditures of the Artists' Social Insurance Fund. With the third change in the Artist Social Security Law, from June 2007 their financial basis was improved by broader coverage and a stricter examination of the contributors.

For more information, see our Status of Artists section

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5.1.5 Tax laws

Indirect state support for the arts and culture in the form of tax breaks is not laid down in a separate piece of legislation but instead consists of a multitude of regulations contained in various specialised acts. In the case of VAT, some cultural products (such as books) are subject to a lower rate of 7 % instead of the standard 19 %; under certain conditions, public cultural operations and non-profit activities (e. g. theatre performances) are exempt from VAT and corporate tax altogether.

Since January 1st, 2000, an Act on the Taxation of Foundations is in force, which includes tax incentives for the establishment of and donations to foundations. In recent years, additional tax breaks have been incorporated into the law governing donations, and the tax-exempt ceiling for income from voluntary activity (the so-called standard exemption for course instructors) has been raised and extended to apply to other groups.

The reform of the Law on Non-profit Character and Donations in July 2007 eases taxation of civic commitment. Amongst others, donations remain free from income tax to a limit of 20% and the tax free allowance for the establishment of foundations was raised from 300 000 euro to 1 million euro.

Germany/ 5.1 General legislation

5.1.6 Labour laws

With the exception of the Artists' Social Insurance Act (see 5.1.4 and 5.3.9), there are no special laws regarding the terms of employment for artists and other cultural workers. The general labour legislation is applied. If artists or cultural workers are employed in municipal, Länder or federal facilities, then the public service regulations are applied. On the basis of the general Wage Agreement Law (TVG), special contracts and wage agreements for the cultural sector, including non-artistic staff, were concluded by unions and employers organisations for single artistic sectors and cultural facilities such as theatres, orchestras and music schools. The conditions of work for main occupational groups such as singers, actors, orchestra musicians etc., are laid down in these agreements. In addition, special courts of arbitration ("Bühnenschiedsgericht") have been set up to settle employment disputes in theatres.

The right of employees to participate in decision making processes is guaranteed through the General Worker Co-determination Laws (Mitbestimmungsrecht) and similar regulations for public service staff. However, these rights are somewhat restricted in companies such as e.g. theatres, museums or libraries with regard to management decisions of artistic or scientific relevance.

Of relevance for independent artists and journalists is a regulation in the wage agreement law (§ 12a TVG) which was revised in October 2005. Under the revised law, freelancers who work predominantly for one company can enjoy an "employee-like" status which allows their professional organisations to conclude wage or fee agreements with their contractors.

For more information, see our Status of Artists section

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5.1.7 Copyright provisions

Along with the Copyright Law, the introduction of a standard levy on audio equipment was passed in 1965 which was to be administered and distributed by the collecting societies. A levy on audio and video recording equipment was added in 1985. This applies to recording and reproduction equipment with a certain playing time and capacity. Since the form of reproduction is irrelevant in this regulation, authors and performing artists also receive levies on digital reproductions, including computer related technology. These standard levies are collected by the collecting societies and distributed to professionals. Public lending rights were first introduced to the general Copyright Law in 1972 (Article°27).

The Amending Law on Copyright came into effect on the 10th September 2003, which began to implement the European guidelines on "Copyright in the Information Society" (2001/29/EU). It makes, inter alia, the evasion of copyright for commercial and private purposes a punishable offence (§§ 95 a ff. UrhG). Further elements of the revision are the clear definition of "Internet Law", in terms of "Right of Public Accessibility" in § 19 UrhG, and the retention, in principle, of the system of payment for private copying. It also contains adjustments to take account of the new technological developments, in particular of the digital use and distribution of artistic, literary and scholarly and scientific works.

A new reform of Copyright Law (the so-called second tranche) was passed by the Bundestag in July 2007 and continued the work on fully implementing the EU guidelines on Copyright in the Information Society (2001/29/EU). After long and intensive arguments between artists' representatives, the users, as well as the appliance industry, a compromise was reached. Afterwards, the lump-sum payment system, which adjusts charges to include a levy for private copying, will be reformed so that in the future, the rate of duty will be independently negotiated by the collecting societies and appliance industries (see:

Germany/ 5.1 General legislation

5.1.8 Data protection laws

At the national level, the Federal Data Protection Act (BDSG) of January 1st, 1978 regulates the data security of the federal authorities and for the private sector, including business enterprises. In addition, the Länder data security laws apply on the level of state and municipal authorities. The purpose of the data security laws is to protect "the individual against an infringement of his personal rights through the misuse of his personal data" (§ 1.1 BDSG). This right of "information self-determination" is considered, according to a ruling of the Federal Constitutional Court, as a fundamental right of all German citizens. The basic principle of the law is a general ban on the collection, processing and use of person related data, except where explicitly permitted by law or individually approved - usually in writing - by the person concerned. Other important principles of the law include those on "data avoidance" and "data thrift" (e. g. the former Federal film statistics were abolished, in this context). A Federal Representative for Data Security and similar officials in the Länder are responsible for supervising and guaranteeing these provisions.

These general data protection laws are complemented and clarified by many other data regulations, e.g. in the social security domain or with regard to church life. However, the BDSG regulations are also relevant in the cultural area, where they have gained relevance e. g. in the marketing work of cultural facilities. Since May 23rd, 2004, companies are obliged to appoint a data security official in cases where more than five employees handle, or have access to, personal data.

On May 23rd, 2001 the minimum standards of the European Data Security Guidelines were implemented into national German laws.

Germany/ 5.1 General legislation

5.1.9 Language laws

There are no general regulations governing the representation of languages in the media. In areas with official ethnic minorities, such as Saxony, Brandenburg and Schleswig-Holstein, the languages of these minorities are represented in the media (see 4.2.5). In larger cities, especially in Berlin, in addition to single foreign-language radio channels (RFI and BBC); some programmes for ethnic minorities are produced by public broadcasters (such as SFB Multikulti or WDR 5) in alternating foreign languages. In addition, private radio and television stations feed foreign-language programmes into the cable network.

Germany/ 5.2 Legislation on culture

Legal aspects of cultural policy are governed by related provisions in constitutional and administrative law. These provisions, however, are not codified in a single text; they consist of a host of constitutional and statutory provisions, above all the Federal Constitution and the constitutions of the Länder, the municipal and county codes, a few specialised statutes of the Länder relating to cultural affairs, federal legislation such as the Act on the Protection of German Cultural Heritage against Removal Abroad, the Copyright Law, the Federal Film Promotion Act and the Artists' Social Insurance Act, and various provisions relating to cultural matters in legislation such as the Federal Building Act, the Federal Regional Planning Act and the Federal Act for the Expellees (see also 5.3.10). In addition, German cultural policy is bound by the provisions of international legal instruments such as the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which includes the stipulation that "everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts ..."

Moreover, the federal authorities - based on the constitution (see 5.1.1 and 5.1.2) and on the jurisdiction of the Federal Constitutional Court - lay a claim to competence originating "in the nature of the matter" where the matters in question are tasks that in a federally structured union are peculiar to the national level and cannot be effectively handled or regulated by a Land. In practice, the Federal Government and parliament derive their competence on these grounds when functions of significance for the state as a whole are at stake, such as representing the country in its entirety. This includes concrete activities in the area of promoting culture, whereby the Federal Government - aside from exceptions such as its contractual commitment to fund cultural institutions in the capital - generally only acts together with one or more Länder or with a municipality. Prior to unification, cultural matters relating to both German states fell within the remit of the national government. Upon unification, the aspect "promotion of unity" as expressed in Article 35 of the 1990 Unification Treaty took centre stage.

The cultural competence of the Länder is limited by the tasks of the federal authorities defined in the Federal Constitution and by the responsibilities transferred to the municipalities within the framework of "local self-government" (Article 28.2 GG), as well as by the obligation of the municipalities under many Land constitutions to cultivate and promote cultural life. In contrast to the other two levels, the competence of the Länder is more precisely defined by provisions in their constitutions and by individual laws.

Specific cultural laws exist at the Länder level as regards archives, the care of monuments and adult education. Individual Länder have a Law on Music Schools (Brandenburg) and a Library Law (Baden-Wuerttemberg). However, no special laws exist for the largest or most important cultural institutions such as public theatres, museums or orchestras. Legal competencies in the mass and electronic media are divided between the federal and the Länder authorities.

Germany/ 5.3 Sector specific legislation

5.3.1 Visual and applied arts

As is the case in other artistic fields, visual and applied art activities are covered under the Freedom of Art Guarantee of the Federal Constitution (Article 5.III GG). This provision guarantees everyone the right to freely work in the artistic domain and to strive for recognition of his / her work by the public, that is: the guarantee includes not only the "sphere of the creative work", but also the "sphere of impact" of that work via its publication and distribution.

With regard to the dissemination and use of artistic works, the frequently amended Copyright / Authors' Rights Law dating from September 9, 1965 (UrhG) is particularly relevant. The law includes regulations for publication, exhibition and transfer or granting the right of utilisation (e. g. via loans to museums) of artistic work. Other clauses clarify that the creator is entitled to economic returns from the use of his works (§11.2 UrhG, see also 5.1.7). However, an exhibition royalty demanded by artists' organisations similar to the existing public lending right (see 5.3.4) is not included in the present Copyright Law.

The Artists' Social Insurance Act (see 5.1.4 and 5.3.9) is important for all independent artists and for companies exploiting their works, by which the latter is required to pay a levy on all fees ("employer's share").

Germany/ 5.3 Sector specific legislation

5.3.2 Performing arts and music

Apart from the general constitutional regulations and to the Labour Law (see 5.1.1 and 5.1.6), there are no separate legal provisions for the fields of music and theatre. The practical organisation of work in this domain is regulated through individual contracts between the authorities in charge of a facility or company and its manager ("Intendant"). Contracts are then drawn up between the facilities and the artistic and other staff members along the lines of general wage agreements such as the "Normal Contract Stage", which summarises the main terms of employment of the different artistic groups working in a theatre.

For music schools, the state's supervision of educational matters is based on a general legal guideline, with special definitions existing in six of the Länder. Only Brandenburg has a special Law for Music Schools.

Germany/ 5.3 Sector specific legislation

5.3.3 Cultural heritage

One of the central tasks of cultural policy is the protection and preservation of the built heritage, i. e. cultural monuments and man-made landscapes including architectural, archaeological and paleontological monuments as well as parks. At the Land level, monument protection legislation has been passed. In addition to their sovereign right to define their own tasks, the Länder also consider it their duty to preserve such monuments and provide funds for this purpose. Municipalities are also involved in monument conservation; as a general rule, they have been assigned specific roles in this domain.

Despite the primary role of the Länder in monument conservation, a programme at the federal level has been operating since 1950 to promote monument conservation measures in order to preserve and restore immovable cultural monuments of national significance. This involves federal co-financing of those cultural monuments that are significant for Germany as a whole. Following re-unification, the Federal Government launched several monument conservation programmes to help meet the special needs for long overdue monument conservation work in Germany's eastern Länder. These programmes are co-financed by the Land involved. The federal and Länder authorities work together in the German National Committee for Monument Protection.

Private sector activities in the area of monument conservation are of great importance. There are a substantial number of volunteer monument conservators in Germany who work hand in hand with the respective public authorities. Furthermore, private funding has become indispensable in this field.

The German Foundation for the Protection of Monuments functions as a useful and effective link between public and private sector activities in this area. The Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs of the Länder in the Federal Republic of Germany (KMK) serves as the national clearinghouse for recommendations of monuments to the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Whereas monument conservation measures are designed to preserve and safeguard immovable cultural assets and thus protect this part of the nation's cultural heritage, other cultural heritage protection measures serve to protect its movable cultural treasures. These, too, are at risk of deterioration and destruction. The greatest threat to the nation's movable cultural heritage is, however, the loss of specific treasures, especially through their sale abroad.

The statutory basis for state protection against the export of cultural objects is the Act on the Protection of German Cultural Heritage against Removal Abroad. This legislation is in line with EU law, which - contrary to the generally prescribed free movement of goods within the EU internal market - expressly provides for such a restriction on trade and movement in the case of "cultural objects classified ... as national cultural treasures possessing artistic, historic or archaeological value". Protected from export are objects that have been entered by the Länder in their registers of cultural treasures and archives that possess national value. The vast majority of these objects are privately owned such as paintings, medieval books, musical instruments, archaeological objects or archives. The Federal Commissioner for Cultural and Media Affairs (BKM) maintains a consolidated register of cultural treasures and archives possessing national value that is compiled from the Land registers and published in the Federal Gazette. The Commissioner is also responsible for deciding whether to permit the export of such objects.

In order to safeguard national treasures, the Federal Government also assists the Länder and the municipalities in purchasing important objects when it is feared that they may be sold abroad (see 4.2.9).

Germany/ 5.3 Sector specific legislation

5.3.4 Literature and libraries

Article 5.1 of the Federal Constitution guarantees the freedom of expression of opinion and is, therefore, an important legal prerequisite for the development of free and lively literature. Furthermore, this article stipulates that everybody has the right "to inform him / her unhindered from generally accessible sources". This could be interpreted as a duty for the state and its public facilities, in particular libraries, to provide an "unhindered" access to the literary resources administered by them. However, the right to participate in state services and educational supplies cannot be brought to court.

Only one of the German states (Baden-Wuerttemberg) has a Library Law which regulates the public provision of suitable facilities. In all other Länder, the general legal background for public library services must be derived from the Federal Constitution (see above), the respective Länder constitutions as well as from regulations existing on the level of counties and other local communities.

On 1 July 2007, the Act on the German National Library came into force with a stretching of the collection on the internet.

The Copyright / Authors' Right Law of 1965 (UrhG) is another legal instrument of importance in the literature and library sector. Among other items, the law regulates the rental, duplication and copying of printed products and media. Article 27 UrhG tries to balance the interests by introducing a public lending right: a library royalty paid by state authorities to authors' societies (VG Wort, GEMA, VG Bild-Kunst), which then compensate the authors as appropriate. For copying machines, Article 54 UrhG foresees a royalty both for the individual machine and for those operators which regularly use them for copying protected works. The VG Wort collects these duties from importers / traders, commercial operators and, as regards the libraries, from the Länder (see 5.1.7).

The Law on Fixed Book Prices (BuchPrbG), of 2nd September 2002, is also an important piece of legislation for literature and its dissemination. Publishing companies are obliged to fix the retail prices for their new books. This regulation is meant to safeguard a stable book market and with it a diverse supply structure, from which both the authors and readers should benefit. With the exception of the UK, Ireland and Finland, all member states of the European Union have introduced, or are preparing, laws supporting a fixed book price.

Germany/ 5.3 Sector specific legislation

5.3.5 Architecture and environment

As early as 1950, a federal Law on Art for Public Buildings ("Kunst am Bau") was passed to promote visual artists and to bring art into public spaces (actually, a regulation of the same name for the Reich, the Länder and the towns already existed in 1934). The law foresaw that 1 percent - later 2 percent - of the construction budget of public buildings should be spent on works of art connected with the architecture. This regulation was reworked several times and is known today as the "K7" component of the "Guidelines for the Realisation of Construction Assignments of the Federal Government" (RBBau K7). At the beginning of the 1990s, the 2 percent rule was taken out of the regulation.

The RBBau K7 applies only to constructions carried out on the federal level. The Länder introduced similar regulations for constructions carried out under their responsibility, some of them with the same name "K7", others under the title "Art in the Public Space". Some local authorities also developed similar guidelines.

More general definitions relating to architecture and town-planning are laid down in the Federal Construction Code and in building regulations, above all at state level.

In 2005, the Bundestag / Federal Parliament decided unanimously to establish a National Foundation for Architecture (Stiftung Baukultur). However, this plan failed because of the resistance of the Bundesrat (Chamber of the Länder in the Parliament) and because some Länder feared too much influence from the national authorities.

Environmental care and landscape protection in general do not fall into the area of cultural policy in Germany. Both on the national and regional level, they are administered through separate laws and regulations by ministries for environmental affairs. However, the protection and care of the natural heritage and built monuments in the narrow sense are at least partly addressed by authorities in charge of the care of monuments, based on the laws for monument protection of the 16 Länder (see 5.3.3).

Germany/ 5.3 Sector specific legislation

5.3.6 Film, video and photography

Both the Federal Government and the Länder provide support for film. National film support has its legal base in the Federal Film Promotion Act (FFG) which is constantly being updated. The present version came into force on January 1st, 2004 and is valid until the end of 2008. The most important instrument of film promotion on the national level is the Film Promotion Agency (FFA). Its task is to provide "measures for the promotion of German films as well as for the improvement of the structure of the German film economy" and to support the overall interests of the film economy, e. g. through marketing research and the protection of copyright. The FFA is financed via a "film levy" raised from all industries involved in the utilisation of films: cinemas, the video industry and broadcasting companies (§ 66 following FFG). The annual budget of the FFA amounts to 77.4 million Euro (2005) and is used, among other things, to support productions, scripts, the rental and distribution of films, cinemas and video stores.

In addition to the FFA, the German film industry is also supported by the Federal Commissioner for Cultural and Media Affairs (BKM). Every year, more than 130 million euros in total flows into awards (for example, the German Film Award) and promotion programmes (support for productions, scripts, cinemas, etc.). Since 2005, the German Film Award (with prize money of 3 million euros) is organised by the German Film Academy, founded in 2003. Furthermore, film festivals and symposia (for example, The International Film Festival Berlin), international film productions (through bilateral film agreements), as well as institutions dedicated to the restoration and preservation of film cultural heritage (for example Stiftung Deutsche Kinemathek in Berlin and the Deutsche Filminstitut in Frankfurt am Main) are also supported by the BKM.

On January 1st 2007, a new support model entitled "Encouragement and consolidation of film production in Germany" came into force, which offers film producers a reimbursement of 15 to 20 % of production costs, spent in Germany, on the production of a cinema film. 60 million euros p.a. has been provided. The intention is to increase Germany's attraction as a production location for large-scale international productions.

In addition to support measures for the improvement of the artistic quality of films, federal policies in this domain include regulatory measures, e.g. concerning taxation and copyright frameworks. In that context, tax shelters for film funds were abolished in November, 2005.

Film promotion programmes also exist at the Länder level. These differ considerably in scope and are funded by a variety of sponsors and bodies. In order to coordinate the film policies of the Länder with the Federal Government, the Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs of the Länder in the Federal Republic of Germany (KMK) established a Film Committee of the Länder in 1994, which involves the participation of the respective state chancelleries and economic ministries.

Germany/ 5.3 Sector specific legislation

5.3.7 Culture industries

The German cultural sector can be subdivided into three areas:

In general there are no special statutory provisions or forms of state support for the culture industries that would set it apart from other sectors of the economy, aside from the aforementioned lower rates of VAT for some products. Exceptions to this rule are film promotion (see 5.3.6) and the areas in which public and private providers are both active, such as radio, television and the computer-based communication media.

The statutory basis for the public radio and television corporations (financed mainly by licence fees) and the private (commercial) television broadcasters (financed by advertising revenue) is the Interstate Broadcasting Agreement concluded among the Länder. On the basis of this Agreement and within the framework of their responsibilities for radio and television broadcasting, the individual Länder have enacted detailed provisions in their respective Land Broadcasting Acts.

The legal framework for the new information and communications technologies is defined by the Telecommunications Act, which entered into force on August 1st, 1996, the Federal Information and Communication Services Act, which entered into force on August 1st, 1997, and the essentially identically worded Interstate Agreement on Media Services concluded among the Länder.

The national system of fixed prices for books, formerly a self-imposed obligation of the parties engaged in the book trade, was safeguarded through the adoption of an Act that entered into force on October 1st, 2002 (see 5.3.4).

Below the statutory level there are numerous forms of public support for the culture industries, such as special measures for music companies or, in the case of individual artists and small institutions, support for business start-ups in some of the Länder.

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5.3.8 Mass media

See 4.2.5 and 5.3.7.

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5.3.9 Legislation for self-employed artists

The most important law for independent artists is the Artists' Social Insurance Act (KSVG) which came into force on August 2nd, 1981. It is based on the proven fact that most independent artists and journalists are in an economic and social situation which demands a similar protection as that of employees, for which a general compulsory insurance exists and to which employees and employers contribute equally. With the KSVG, the legislator has created a compulsory insurance which allows freelancers to participate in the social pension, health and old age care insurances. Companies which exploit the works of artists and journalists / authors and the Federal Government pay 50 % of the contributions to the Artists' Social Insurance Fund (KSK), the other half comes from the independent artists and journalists (see 5.1.4). The contributions of the "exploiters" (§ 24 KSVG) are levied by way of a percentage of artists' social contribution (2007: 5.1%, 2008: 4.9%) of the fees / remuneration paid) on all companies and institutions which regularly acquire and market artistic works / services. The amount of the contributions which the KSK deposits at the insurance is allocated according to the prospective annual income of the insured persons in a calendar year.

For more information, see our Status of Artists section

Germany/ 5.3 Sector specific legislation

5.3.10 Other areas of relevant legislation

Additional laws of relevance for culture include Article 96 of the Federal Law for the Expellees: both the Federal Government and the Länder are obliged to preserve the cultural traditions of those regions in Central and Eastern Europe which were formerly inhabited by Germans. In 2000, a "New Concept for the Investigation and Presentation of German Culture and History in Eastern Europe" was developed in an effort to match this task with the changed political and social conditions after the collapse of the socialist state systems.

The Federal Archive Law - and corresponding laws of the 16 Länder - was enacted in the 1980s in order to regulate the protection, preservation, development and utilisation of archive goods.

Germany/ 6. Financing of culture

6.1 Short overview

The financing of culture in the Federal Republic of Germany rests on several pillars. In keeping with the subsidiarity principle, culture - and thus the public financing thereof - is first and foremost the responsibility of the citizens and their local communities. Only when the scope or nature of a cultural policy task is beyond the community's resources does the state step in as a sponsor. The municipalities thus bear the lion's share of the cost of financing public cultural activities and institutions, followed by the Länder. Due to its limited competence in the field of cultural policy, the Federal Government provides only a small share of the total support for culture in Germany (see 6.2). Impossible to quantify through financial statistics - but by no means insignificant - are the funds stemming from other policy fields, especially job promotion. In Germany's western Länder, the overwhelming majority of these funds were allocated to third sector sponsors of cultural activities and institutions even prior to unification. In the eastern Länder, they have taken on great importance in the course of the past ten years for all cultural institutions.

Cultural institutions, events and projects are also privately funded to a considerable extent. Estimated private-sector expenditure for publicly subsidised institutions alone is approximately 500 euros million.

The municipalities, the Länder and the Federal Government operate on the basis of rather different definitions of the term "culture", however. As a result, public cultural expenditure statistics often vary considerably, in some cases by billions of euros.

EU cultural statistics with yet differing definitions and the very broad UNESCO statistical framework add to these various definitions of cultural statistics. Meanwhile, the problem of harmonising cultural statistics has also been discussed in the Enquete-Kommission of the German Bundestag (Federal Parliament). A partial harmonisation was achieved when the Federal Office for Statistics co-operated with statistical offices of some Länder to produce the Cultural Finance Report 2000, 2003 and 2006.

Different standards to collect cultural statistics are used by German municipal statistical offices, the Standing Conference of the German Länder, the Federal Government and the Federal Statistical Office. This is further complicated by the number of different categories used by EUROSTAT and UNESCO. The discussions around a standardisation of cultural statistics were also taken up by the "Enquete-Kommission" on Culture in Germany, which submitted, in its final report, a suggestion on the harmonisation of cultural statistics. In 2008, this suggestion will be discussed and at least partly introduced.

Regardless of these differences, cultural expenditure increased disproportionately in comparison to other areas of public expenditure in the 1970s and 1980s. In the 1990s and the 2000s however - aside from the rise in cultural expenditure at the federal level due to unification - total public expenditure increased nominally but declined in real terms. According to provisional data, this negative development seems to end in 2006/2007 and the cultural expenditure is rising slowly in nominal and in real terms. For example the budget for cultural affairs on the federal level rose in 2006 by 3.4% and in 2007 by 1.3%.

Germany/ 6. Financing of culture

6.2 Public cultural expenditure per capita

Due to the various definitions of "culture", the available statistics differ widely. In the interest of presenting the most comprehensive picture possible, two sets of statistics are given here:

According to the survey conducted by Michael Söndermann, public cultural expenditure increased by 7.3 % between 1995 and the year 2003, overall from 7.65 billion euros to 8.21 billion euros and per capita from 95 euros to 99 euros. During the same period, the general price index rose by about 8 %. The percentage of overall public expenditure (all public budgets) attributable to cultural expenditure thus declined from 1.3 % to 1.3 %. (2002) According to this methodology, public cultural expenditure has decreased from 8.56 billion euros in 2000 to 8.0 billion euros in 2004.

According to the Kulturfinanzbericht 2003 and 2006 (Cultural Finance Report 2003 and 2006) published by the Federal Statistical Office, public cultural expenditure increased from 7.47 billion euros (1995) to 8.07 billion euros (2003) and per capita from 91.1 euros to 97.8 euros. The percentage share of public expenditure (all public budgets) attributable to cultural expenditure in the gross domestic product thus decreased slightly from 0.40 to 0.37 %.

Germany/ 6. Financing of culture

6.3 Public cultural expenditure broken down by level of government

Table 1:     Public cultural expenditure: by level of government, in billion euros and in % from 1995 to 2003


















% share of total








Länder and city states*









% share of total








Federal Government









% share of total
















Source:      as broken down in: Jahrbuch für Kulturpolitik 2000, 2002/03 and 2006.
*                 Berlin, Bremen, Hamburg

Table 2:     Public cultural expenditure: by level of government, in billion euros and in % from 1995 to 2003

Level of government






Länder and municipalities

billion euros

% share of total





















Federal government

billion euros

% share of total






















Source:      as broken down in: Kulturfinanzbericht 2006 (Cultural Finance Report 2006).

Germany/ 6. Financing of culture

6.4 Sector breakdown

Table 3:     State cultural expenditure: by sector, in billon euros, and in %, 1995, 2000 and 2003





Performing arts (theatre and music)

billion euros

% share of total










Libraries (non-academic)

billion euros

% share of total










Museums (non-academic)

billion euros

% share of total










Monuments and sites
billion euros

% share of total










Other cultural heritage conservation

billion euros

% share of total











billion euros

% share of total










Cultural affairs abroad

billion euros

% share of total










Art colleges

billion euros

% share of total










Other cultural Financing

billion euros

% share of total














Source:      as broken down in: Kulturfinanzbericht 2006 (Cultural Finance Report 2000).

Germany/ 7. Cultural institutions and new partnerships

7.1 Re-allocation of public responsibilities

Over the past few years, the Federal Government, the Länder and the municipalities have increasingly relinquished direct responsibility for running cultural facilities and programmes. This organisational restructuring of the cultural sector is not only strongly advocated by the state but also favoured by representatives of the business sector and groups in society, provided it does not involve an abdication of the state from its responsibility to ensure financing.

Institutional reforms now reflect a growing preference for new sponsorship models while at the same time demanding that the public sector maintains its responsibility to ensure funding. Two strategies should be distinguished in this context:

Irrespective of these trends, which certainly reflect an increasingly widespread acknowledgement of the important role of civil society or third sector actors, the fact remains that most municipal cultural institutions are still integrated into and bound by the structures and hierarchies of public administration.

The transfer of public sector responsibilities to private sponsors in the cultural sector began in Germany as early as the 19th century. Prominent national and internationally renowned cultural institutes such as the Bach Archives in Leipzig, the Beethoven House in Bonn, the Archives of German Literature in Marbach, the Goethe Museum in Frankfurt am Main, the Weimar Classics Foundation in Weimar, and the National Museum of German Art and Culture in Nuremberg are privately run but receive public funding from all three levels of government. Many of these institutions belong to the Working Group of Independent Cultural Institutes.

Germany/ 7. Cultural institutions and new partnerships

7.2 Status/role and development of major cultural institutions

The wealth of vibrant cultural institutions in all of Germany's regions - a number of which are renowned throughout Europe - is a product of German history. Following each profound societal change (in 1918, in 1945 and - in eastern Germany - in 1990), the Länder and the municipalities reaffirmed their responsibility for theatres, orchestras and museums. While the most important public theatres and museums still enjoy fairly stable means of public support, the increasingly severe financial problems of the Länder and the municipalities have prompted, in recent years, an ongoing nationwide debate on a reform of public cultural institutions (see 7.1 and 7.3) as well as of wage and salary scales at theatres and orchestras.

Germany/ 7. Cultural institutions and new partnerships

7.3 Emerging partnerships or collaborations

Numerous types and models for partnerships between public cultural institutions and private firms have emerged in Germany in recent years. However, most cultural institutions, including the largest ones, are still exclusively state-run. Permanent co-operation and co-financing arrangements have been reached mainly for smaller institutions at local level, i. e. between local businesses and the respective city administration. There are now more and more examples of institutionalised cooperation in the realisation and maintenance of larger institutions such as the Pinakothek der Moderne in Munich and the NRW-Forum Kultur und Wirtschaft in Düsseldorf, where the Länder, the municipalities and private firms / patrons are permanent sponsors. Some Länder, like Lower Saxony, have abandoned the approach to finance institutions via civil society organisations and have regained direct control.


Germany/ 8. Support to creativity and participation

8.1 Direct and indirect support to artists

Artistic production and its reception by the public are furthered, on the one hand, through the funding of arts institutions (see 6) and, on the other hand, through the creation of general conditions conducive to the flourishing of the arts (see 5.2). This also includes the opportunities for basic and further training in artistic professions provided above all by the 22 colleges of art and 23 colleges of music, drama and dance operated by the Länder as well as the four federal academies jointly funded by the Federal Government and the Länder. Support for individual art forms and individual artists in the various fields of artistic endeavour are likewise very important.

Germany/ 8.1 Direct and indirect support to artists

8.1.1 Special artists funds

At the federal level, support to artists is provided through artists' organisations and bodies such as the Visual Arts Foundation, the German Literature Fund, the Sociocultural Fund and the Federal Foundation for the Performing Arts as well as projects implemented by the German Music Council. This support encompasses nationally prominent exhibitions of contemporary art, competitions, scholarships and prizes, for example, as well as other appropriate forms of support. Resources are also provided by the Federal Government via the Cultural Foundation of the Länder. Since the 1970s, there has been a federal programme for art purchases and a federal collection of contemporary art. Federal funding is also available for German artists' residencies abroad at facilities such as the German Academy at the Villa Massimo in Rome.

Support for artists is provided mainly by the municipalities and the Länder through a wide variety of instruments. In addition to the support programmes for the various fields of artistic endeavour existing at Land level, the individual Land foundations for the arts and culture play a particularly important role in this context. Widespread forms of support at Land and municipal level include financial assistance for art projects, the purchase of works of art, the commissioning of artwork, the awarding of scholarships, the provision of facilities for exhibitions and performances as well as studios and workshops, the awarding of monetary prizes and the granting of publication subsidies. Support is also provided through municipal art lending libraries and programmes such as "Art on Buildings" and "Art in Public Spaces" as well as through business management advisory services for artists and financial help with business start-ups.

Germany/ 8.1 Direct and indirect support to artists

8.1.2 Grants, awards, scholarships

Grants and prizes are instruments of "individual artist support", adopted both by public bodies at a municipal, Land and Federal level and also by private and civil society organisations. A wide range of public and private foundations are important in this context (e.g. the art and culture foundations of the individual Länder), but also, for example, the autonomously administered Federal Cultural Funds (Deutscher Literaturfonds, Stiftung Kunstfonds, Fonds Soziokultur, Fonds Darstellenden Künste), which distribute, subject to application, funding of the Kulturstiftung des Bundes (Federal Culture Foundation). The Deutsche Informationszentrum Kulturförderung ( provides information on the range of support funding available.

Cultural awards and art prizes are a particularly noteworthy support instrument and have increased both in number and importance in recent years. In 1978 the Handbuch der Kulturpreise (Handbook of Cultural Awards) listed 776 prizes and scholarships; by 1985 the number had already risen to 1 329 and by 1994 to just under 2 000. The latest edition of the handbook (for the year 2000) lists no fewer than 2 400 prizes with 3 100 individual awards. General cultural awards account for 23 % of these, followed by the visual arts and music with 15 % each, literature with 13 % and film with 9 %. Recent years have also seen an increase in scholarships and prizes endowed by private individuals and firms. Nevertheless, the share of spending on individual artist support, as part of the total expenditure on culture in Germany, may be described as rather small.

Germany/ 8.1 Direct and indirect support to artists

8.1.3 Support to professional artists associations or unions

In addition to the support provided via artists associations (see 8.1.1), funds are made available to bodies such as the German Arts Council, the German Music Council and two Federal associations of visual artists. A portion of these funds are earmarked to assist these associations as well as to support individual projects.

Germany/ 8.2 Cultural consumption and participation

8.2.1 Trends and figures

Despite the continuously increasing number and variety of cultural and leisure-time activities since the 1970s - especially those made available by the culture and media industries - attendance and participation figures for public cultural institutions have continued to rise over the long term, though they have fluctuated widely and declined in some areas.

Table 4:     Visitors / users (in thousands), 1992, 1995, 1999, 2002 and 2006








93 020

91 062

96 190

101 218

101 407**


22 123

23 002

22 716

21 7636

19 018**

Public libraries

8 939

9 387

9 170

8 303

7 454

Music schools







105 900

124 500

149 000

177 900

136 700

Source:      Theatre attendance: Theaterstatistik des Deutschen Bühnenvereins (Theatre Statistics of the German Theatre Association), Cologne; Museums: Museumsbericht 2006, Statistische Ämter des Bundes und der Länder, Berlin 2007; all others: Statistisches Jahrbuch für die Bundesrepublik Deutschland (Statistical Yearbook for the Federal Republic of Germany), Federal Statistical Office, Wiesbaden, edition for the given year.
*                 1996.
**              2005.

In 2000, the market share of the eleven public television broadcasting corporations (14 programmes) was 43.2 % and the market share for private (commercial) broadcasters was 56.8 %. The average viewer spent 190 minutes per day actually watching television and had the television set switched on for a total of 251 minutes. A breakdown of viewing habits by category yielded the following percentages for public versus private broadcasters respectively: information 84: 16; sports 23: 77; entertainment 58: 42; feature films (fiction) 32: 68, and advertising 2: 98.

There are no surveys monitoring the participation of national minority or immigration groups in general cultural life, but there are some specialised surveys, in particular on the use of media, such as newspapers, magazines, television use, broadcasting and videotapes. In general, normally, most migrants and Germans with a migrant background use media in both languages, in German and their native language - see for example the Jahrbuch für Kulturpolitik 2002/2003.

Germany/ 8.2 Cultural consumption and participation

8.2.2 Policies and programmes

The basic principle governing cultural policy in Germany - a principle that has been enshrined in some of the Land Constitutions - is to enable the greatest possible number of citizens to participate in the country's cultural life. All public cultural policy endeavours and expenditures serve the aim of creating the conditions for free and unfettered participation in cultural life. As in the past, however, some segments of the population are still afraid of trying something new and unfamiliar. Appropriate cultural support measures - in the fields of museum, theatre and arts education - are therefore being undertaken at all policy levels to reduce obstacles to access posed by educational deficiencies (see also 8.3.1).

In the cultural policy debate, a direct link has, for some time, been established between the subject of cultural participation and issues of citizen involvement, of social cohesion etc. These are becoming increasingly important in relation to discussions on demographic developments and the growing significance of intercultural, inclusive and dialogue-oriented initiatives (see 4.2.4 and 8.3.2).

Germany/ 8.3 Arts and cultural education

8.3.1 Arts education

Responsibility for art, literature and music education lies with the Länder. Each Land is creates its own education structure and therefore classroom instruction also varies in scope and quality. There is currently a shortfall in music and fine arts instruction which is considered a widespread problem.

Cultural education opportunities are available outside the school programmes and are offered by independent institutions engaged in cultural (youth) work such as music schools, art schools for young people, interdisciplinary cultural workshops and media centres. Some of these initiatives rely on private or mixed funding. These out-of-school opportunities for cultural and arts education are taking on ever greater importance, exhibiting higher quality and a broader scope than available in-schools. New concepts and institutions that increasingly combine classical arts education with the use of new media have been developed and established by non-governmental sponsors with the aid of public funds. A key impetus to increase efforts furthering arts education for children and young people came in 1991 through Section 11 of the Child and Youth Services Act.

The results of recent cultural policy discussions revealed that arts education for children and young people in schools and in non-school education has to be strengthened. The "Enquete-Kommission" on Culture in Germany has placed this topic on the top of its agenda. Other initiatives worth mentioning are:

Germany/ 8.3 Arts and cultural education

8.3.2 Intercultural education

Intercultural education is not an official component of general school education. Nevertheless, as a principle that transcends discipline boundaries, it does play a part in teaching practice. There is furthermore an increasing sensitivity in schools to this issue and, in addition to some provisions for bilingual teaching there are also many projects which make use of the medium of art to address intercultural questions arising in schools.

Intercultural education, in breadth, is carried on primarily by educational institutions (kindergartens, schools, further education establishments). The topic is, however, also gaining importance for cultural policy. Indeed, it is the cultural institutions themselves which are taking the initiative on this issue and are seeking co-operation with schools.

In practice, intercultural programmes are mostly established at the municipal level, mainly in the larger cities. At the Land level, systematic initiatives so far exist only in Northrhine-Westphalia and to some extent in the city states of Hamburg, Berlin and Bremen. At the Federal level, besides provision of funding by the Federal Cultural Foundation (Kulturstiftung des Bundes), programmes to counter xenophobia and Right-wing extremism should be mentioned.

The normative framework is provided by the human rights articles established in the Basic Law (Constitution). In the foreground, are aims such as the acknowledgment of difference, development of tolerance, capacity for intercultural dialogue, information about the cultural traditions and values of people of other religions, and the rejection of racism and violence. In the educational institutions' understanding of their role, the command of the German language as "lingua franca" is of crucial importance, in this respect.

Many art and music schools incorporate other cultural traditions and contexts in their work. Art schools for young people take, for example, the immigrant background of their audience as a theme and address it through artistic means. Music schools have courses which promote the teaching of instruments originating in other cultures (e.g. the Turkish long-necked lute). Conceptually, however, inter-culturalism as a part of the general school curricula has only just begun.

All the intercultural programmes and activities mentioned are concerned to develop, through education and meetings, an understanding of other cultural traditions and ways of life, to extend knowledge of fundamental human and civil rights and to make the addressees capable of developing humanitarian and democratic values. Intercultural and democratic skills are mutually dependent in this respect.

Special attention is given to intercultural education, in the context of intensified political efforts to promote practical measures for cultural integration (see 4.1 and 4.2.1). Concrete stipulations are suggested in several education plans for the pre-school range and the primary schools of the individual Länder. The German Kulturrat has also elaborated a cultural policy paper named "Interkulturelle Erziehung - eine Chande für unsere Gesellschaft" (Intercultural Education - A Chance for our Society).

For more information, see our Intercultural Dialogue section

Germany/ 8.4 Amateur arts, cultural associations and community centres

8.4.1 Amateur arts

The importance of cultural associations in Germany is just as great as their diversity. They range from small local or neighbourhood sponsors of cultural activities to museum associations that run their own institutions. Cultural institutions in smaller municipalities are frequently organised as associations and depend on the voluntary engagement of their members. This refers to the activities of libraries, monument protection, local culture and the running of local museums, historical museums, culture clubs and arts galleries.

Despite this tremendous diversity they all have one thing in common: they are the ideal breeding ground for civic commitment and involvement. The larger ones are prime examples of how volunteers and professionals can work hand in hand. Cultural associations thus form an indispensable structural framework for the sponsorship of cultural activities in the Federal Republic of Germany.

Germany/ 8.4 Amateur arts, cultural associations and community centres

8.4.2 Cultural houses and community cultural clubs

According to the "Volunteers' Survey", about 2.1 million persons volunteer in associations and cultural institutions, thus contributing towards the supply of affordable cultural programmes and broadening the opportunities to participate in various cultural activities. Cultural associations are the main providers of amateur arts. In the area of amateur music alone, 4.6 million persons are active.

Germany/ 9. Sources and Links

9.1 Key documents on cultural policy

Deutscher Kulturrat: Der deutsche Kulturrat in guter Begleitung. Zwei Jahrzehnte DKR. Bonn / Berlin, 2001, 176 p., ISBN 3-934868-08-8.

Deutscher Musikrat: Musikalmanach 2007/2008. Daten und Fakten zum Musikleben in Deutschland. Regensburg: Conbrio Verlag, 2006, 1528 p., ISBN 978-3-932581-77-9.

Endreß, Alexander: Die Kulturpolitik des Bundes. Strukturelle und inhaltliche Neuorientierung zur Jahrtausendwende?. Berlin: Duncker & Humblot (Soziologische Schriften, Bd. 78), 2005, 268 p., ISBN 3-428-11493-0.

Fuchs, Max: Kulturpolitik, Wiesbaden: VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften, 2007, 133 p. ISBN 978-3-531-15448-0

Glaser, Hermann: Kleine deutsche Kulturgeschichte von 1945 bis heute. Frankfurt am Main: Fischer, 2004.

Hoffmann, Hilmar: Kultur und Wirtschaft. Knappe Kassen - Neue Allianzen. Cologne: Dumont Verlag, 2001, 278 p., ISBN 3-7701-5876-8.

Institut für Kulturpolitik: Bibliographie Kulturpolitik. 1970-1997. Bonn / Essen: Kulturpolitische Gesellschaft / Klartext Verlag (Edition Umbruch, 12), 1998, 328 p., ISBN 3-88474-672-3.

Institut für Kulturpolitik der Kulturpolitischen Gesellschaft (editor): Jahrbuch für Kulturpolitik, Kulturstatistik, Chronik, Literatur, Adressen. Essen: Klartext Verlag, 2001 ff.
- 2000, Thema: Bürgerschaftliches Engagement
, 446 p., ISBN 3-88474-958-7.
- 2001, Thema: Kulturföderalismus, 469 p., ISBN 3-89861-096-9.
- 2002/2003, Thema: Interkulturelle Kulturarbeit, 460 p., ISBN 3-89861-184-1.
- 2004, Thema: Theaterdebatte, 444 p., ISBN 3-89861-297-X.
- 2005, Thema: Kulturpublikum, 538 p., ISBN 3-89861-449-2.
- 2006, Thema: Diskurs Kulturpolitik, 478 p., ISBN 3-89861-570-9.
- 2006, Thema: Europäische Kulturpolitik, 483 p., ISBN 978-3-89861-853-3.

Klein, Armin (editor): Kompendium Kulturmanagement. Handbuch für Studium und Praxis. München: Verlag Franz Vahlen, 2004, 472 p., ISBN 3-8006-3106-7.

Klein, Armin: Kulturpolitik. Eine Einführung. Opladen: Leske + Budrick, 2005, 220 p., ISBN 3-8100-3750-8.

Köstlin, Thomas: Die Kulturhoheit des Bundes. Eine Untersuchung zum Kompetenz- und Organisationsrecht des Grundgesetzes unter Berücksichtigung der Staatspraxis in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland. Berlin: Duncker & Humblot (Tübinger Schriften zum Staats- und Verwaltungsrecht, 3), 1989, 292 p., ISBN 3-428-016710-X.

Kulturpolitische Gesellschaft / Deutscher Kulturrat (editor): Europa fördert Kultur. Ein Handbuch zur Kulturförderung der Europäischen Union. Essen: Klartext Verlag, 2002, 446 p., ISBN 3-89861-129-9.

Loock, Friedrich / Scheytt, Oliver (editor): Kulturmanagement & Kulturpolitik. Die Kunst, Kultur zu ermöglichen. Berlin : Raabe Verlag (Loseblatt-Ausgabe), ISBN 1863-379X.

Maaß, Kurt-Jürgen (editor): Kultur und Außenpolitik. Handbuch für Studium und Praxis. Baden-Baden: Nomos Verlagsgesellschaft, 2005, 375 S., ISBN 3-8329-1404-8.

Palm, Wolfgang: Öffentliche Kunstförderung zwischen Kunstfreiheitsgarantie und Kulturstaat. Berlin: Duncker & Humblot (Schriften zum öffentlichen Recht, 748), 1998, 304 p., ISBN 3-428-09292-9.

Presse- und Informationsamt der Bundesregierung (editor): Im Bund mit der Kultur. Neue Aufgaben der Kulturpolitik (as of March 2002). Bonn: Beauftragter der Bundesregierung für Angelegenheiten der Kultur und der Medien (cultural policy - background information), 2002, 153 p.

Scheytt, Oliver: Kommunales Kulturrecht. Kultureinrichtungen, Kulturförderung und Kulturveranstaltungen. München: C. H. Beck Verlag, 2005, 300 p., ISBN 3-406-52550-4.

Schwencke, Olaf: Das Europa der Kulturen - Kulturpolitik in Europa. Dokumente, Analysen und Perspektiven - von den Anfängen bis zur Grundrechtcharta. Bonn / Essen: Kulturpolitische Gesellschaft / Klartext Verlag (Edition Umbruch, 14), 2006, 443 p., ISBN 3-88474-957-9.

Sekretariat der Ständigen Konferenz der Kultusminister der Länder in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland (editor): Einheit in der Vielfalt. 50 Jahre Kultusministerkonferenz 1948-1998. Neuwied: Luchterhand, 1998, 264 p., ISBN 3-472-02952-8.

Wiesand, Andreas Johannes: Handbuch der Kulturpreise. Preise, Ehrungen, Stipendien und individuelle Projektförderungen für Künstler, Publizisten und Kulturvermittler in Deutschland und Europa. 4. Neuausgabe 1995-2000. Bonn: ARCult Media, 2001, 1606 p., ISBN 3-930395-24-X.

Germany/ 9. Sources and Links

9.2 Key organisations and portals

Cultural policy making bodies

Federal Commissioner for Cultural and Media Affairs

Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs of the Länder in the Federal Republic of Germany (KMK)

German Association of Cities, German Association of Towns and Municipalities, Association of German Counties

Goethe-Institut Inter Nationes

Professional associations

Bundesvereinigung Kulturelle Jugendbildung e. V. [BKJ] (Federal Government of Youth Cultural Associations)

Deutscher Bibliotheksverband e. V. [dbv] (German Library Association)

Deutscher Bühnenverein - Bundesverband deutscher Theater

Deutscher Kulturrat (German Arts Council)

Deutscher Volkshochschulverband (German Adult Education Association)

Kulturpolitische Gesellschaft e. V.

Verwertungsgesellschaft Bild-Kunst (Copyright Society)

Grant-giving bodies

Cultural Foundation of the Länder

Federal Cultural Foundation

Cultural research, advices and statistics

Cultural Contact Point Germany

Institut für Kulturpolitik der Kulturpolitische Gesellschaft e. V.

Zentrum für Kulturforschung

Culture / arts portals

Kulturportal of the Federal Government and the Länder

Portal of the culture servers of the Länder

Das KulturinformationsZentrum

Deutscher Bildungsserver [DBS] (German education server)

Deutscher Museumsbund e. V. (Federal Government of German Museums)



The Council of Europe/ERICarts "Compendium of Cultural Policies and Trends in Europe, 9th edition", 2008