The Flemish and Dutch governments have set aside a joint budget of €340,000 to mark 20 years of cultural cooperation in 2015. The two regions concluded the Flemish-Dutch Cultural Treaty on 17 January 1995 to work together on culture, education, science and welfare and a commission was established on 2 April 1998 to supervise the implementation of the treaty.
The cooperation agreement reflects the belief that the two countries are linked by common attributes such as language, culture and history. As a result, they have developed countless cultural exchanges involving writers, artists, theatre groups and dance companies, as well as working together to take productions to other countries.
Symbols of cooperation
The governments of Flanders and the Netherlands have set up several organisations to work together culturally, such as De Brakke Grond in Amsterdam (created by the Flemish government) and the Flemish-Dutch organisation deBuren, which began in 2004 in a building near the Munt opera house in Brussels.
There are also private initiatives that have worked for many decades to support cooperation between the two countries, including Ons Erfdeel vzw, which was launched as a Flemish-Dutch cultural periodical back in 1957.
The anniversary will be marked by a series of events to raise the public’s awareness of the cooperation between Flanders and the Netherlands. As well as art, the programme will cover heritage and social issues.