Governance Code for Culture
On 14 October 2013, the Minister of Education, Culture and Science, Jet Bussemaker, took receipt of the first copy of the Governance Code for Culture. Cultuur-Ondernemen (Culture Entrepreneurship) presented the new code during a closed meeting at Nyenrode Business University.
Image: © Nationale Beeldbank
"The new Governance Code for Culture offers more possibilities than were previously available for bringing about effective, critical discussions between the management (directors), monitors and stakeholders." That was how Minister Bussemaker underlined the importance of the Governance Code for Culture for the culture sector during this afternoon's presentation of the new code. Professor of Corporate Governance, Mijntje Lückerath-Rovers, believes that rarely has a code been developed with so much input from interested parties and stakeholders and which has such a distinct identity that is consistent with the sector. The Association of Dutch Municipalities (VNG) will incorporate the code in the subsidy agreements model for municipalities and local cultural organizations.
The code's nine principles provide a normative framework for good management and monitoring in cultural organizations. This is extremely important at a time when cultural organizations are expected to be entrepreneurial, with all the associated risks of mixing public and private resources. In its recommendations, 'Een lastig gesprek' (a difficult discussion), the Halsema commission underlines the errors that are made when a public project is not properly defined and agreed. The new Code places the emphasis on holding such discussions with the various stakeholders (government, public etc.) in addition to matters such as risk management, conflicts of interest and transparency. Rules do not suffice, developing a culture in which people confront each other about their behavior is essential. That is what the new Code will achieve.
About the Code's developers
To develop the Governance Code for Culture, Cultuur-Ondernemen worked with Mijntje Lückerath-Rovers, professor of Corporate Governance at TIAS School for Business and Society (at Nyenrode Business University until 1 September 2013). The code is supported by directors, monitors, branch organizations, the State, municipalities, VNG and funds. All these parties have contributed to creating the code.