Netherlands to fight international instability with cultural projects

Bert Koenders (Photo: Commons). (Bert Koenders (Photo: Commons))

The Netherlands is launching cultural projects in seven countries as part of the fight against "the ring of instability around Europe", Ministers Bert Koenders of Foreign Affairs and Jet Bussemaker of Culture announced in a letter describing the Culture policy for 2017 - 2020.

This cultural angle is in addition to political, military and humanitarian efforts to stabilize the countries around Europe.

Bussemaker and Koenders are first focusing on seven countries - Egypt, Mali, Russia, the Palestinian territories, Lebanon, Morocco and Turkey. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is investing 7 million euros a year on this "sustainable cooperation", as part of the total 18 million euros annual budget for an international cultural policy.

"Cultural cooperation can make a significant contribution to a safe, fair and future-proof world", Koenders said. "The Netherlands has a strong and innovative culture. It strongly expresses our identity and values. It also creates a much-needed bridge to the rest of the world. International cultural policy is therefore essential to me, especially at this time."

Bussemaker adds that cultural cooperation can also provide innovative solutions. "And it connects people with each other. International exchange is essential for our cultural sector. Dutch talent grows if it can look across the borders and cooperate. And for foreign talent, exchange with the Netherlands can also be a springboard."