Policy Profile Netherlands


The Netherlands is a member state of the European Union and is therefore required to implement all EU directives, laws, regulations and policies, including those related to heritage and culture.

The Netherlands and the EU

The European Commission has a Representation Office and the European Parliament has a Liaison Offices, both in The Hague. The Dutch Government has a Permanent Representation to the European Union in Brussels. 

National Cultural Policy in the Netherlands

At the national level, cultural heritage policy in The Netherlands is predominantly determined by the Dutch government. Policies concerning culture and heritage fall under the responsibility of various government ministries. As of 2024, key ministries involved in cultural and heritage matters include the Ministerie van Onderwijs, Cultuur en Wetenschappen (OCW) (Ministry of Education, Culture, and Science), and the Ministerie van Binnenlandse Zaken en Koninkrijksrelaties (BZK) (Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations). Heritage policies are increasingly integrated across different ministries, indicating a concerted effort to address heritage preservation and promotion holistically.

Several state agencies and organisations in The Netherlands are instrumental in shaping cultural policy and managing heritage assets at the national level:

  • Rijksdienst voor het Cultureel Erfgoed (Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands): Responsible for the conservation and management of cultural heritage sites, the Cultural Heritage Agency plays a vital role in preserving The Netherlands’ rich cultural legacy.
  • Mondriaan Fund: Supporting visual arts, design, and cultural heritage, the Mondriaan Fund provides grants and resources to artists and cultural institutions, fostering creativity and innovation in the arts sector.
  • DutchCulture: Promoting Dutch culture internationally, DutchCulture serves as a platform for cultural exchange and collaboration, facilitating partnerships between Dutch artists, organisations, and their counterparts worldwide.

Regional Policies in the Netherlands

At the regional level, provincial governments and local governments in The Netherlands actively contribute to cultural policy development and heritage management. Provincial and local governments enact regulations and spatial planning measures to protect and manage cultural heritage resources effectively, and also engage in financial support for cultural heritage initiatives. Municipalities play a significant role in preserving local heritage and supporting cultural initiatives, often collaborating with regional heritage organisations and stakeholders to ensure the sustainable stewardship of cultural assets.

View all Netherlands policies gathered so far

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* = This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244/1999 and the ICJ opinion on the Kosovo declaration of independence

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