Cabinet increases security funding for controversial events

Security guard at a jazz festival in Breda (Photo: @GetNoticed_Nl/Twitter)Security guard at a jazz festival in Breda (Photo: @GetNoticed_Nl/Twitter)

The Cabinet is setting one million euros aside for extra security at controversial events. The VVD and PvdA want to prevent cultural institutions cancelling events due to organizers being afraid of threats or high security costs.

The coalition parties made this announcement during the Tweede Kamer, lower house of parliament, debate on the Culture Budget on Monday. According to NRC, this security fund is one of the coalition's plans for culture, for which the cabinet wants to reserve 13.5 million.

VVD Parliamentarian Michiel van Veen and PvdA Parliamentarian Jacques Monasch emphasize that this security fund is to protect "free speech and freedom of expression". They want organizers to be able to rely on additional resources in certain situations, according to NOS. This fund can be used to help organizers hire, for example, extra security guards and security gates. The fund is not for politicians or people who preach hate.

The 13.5 million the coalition has in mind for their culture plans was already earmarked for culture, but would have been paid into the Municipal fund. But according to the two parties, it is not possible to verify if the money was actually used for culture in that case. The coalition still wants to pay 6.5 million euros of the money to the municipalities, but only if they contribute the same amount, NRC reports. According to the news agency, culture aldermen are not happy with this idea.

The coalition's plans also include 2.5 million euros for festivals, 1 million euros for museums to pay insurance premiums and money for opera, postgraduate art institutions and orchestras.