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Factsheet for measure NL-2020-13/771 Updated – measures in Netherlands

Extra package of support measures for the cultural sector

Maatregelen steun voor het culturele en creatieve veld

Country Netherlands , applies nationwide
Time period Temporary, 27 March 2020 – 31 December 2021
Context COVID-19
Type Legislations or other statutory regulations
Category Supporting businesses to stay afloat
– Direct subsidies (full or partial) or damage compensation
Author Amber van der Graaf (Panteia)
Measure added 23 April 2020 (updated 15 June 2022)

Background information

The Dutch government presented a package of emergency measures to support businesses and workers during the COVID-19 crisis. However, the cultural and creative sector, especially badly hit, expressed concern that more was needed for its support. Museums, cultural institutes, events, performances and performers voiced concerns that the crisis could mean that many would have to close their doors for good. Beyond the fact that many people simply cannot attend events, performances, of cultural institutes and this meaning a loss of income, there is also a seasonality to the sector (with many events taking place in the spring and summer). These developments have led to extra measures being taken. On 27 March, the Minister for Education, Culture, and Science sent a letter to Parliament explaining the need for and content of the planned measures.

Content of measure

The package of measures announced contain a series of specific measures for different groups within the sector.

  • Museums subsidised by the government may delay the payments of their rents by three months to give them some financial breathing room.
  • Easing of the heritage laws: heritage institutes are being given more time to prepare their annual reports and annual financial accounts. Instead of submitting their accounts on 1 April, they may now do so by 1 June 2020 instead.
  • Subsidies to cultural institutes will be paid out by the government and there is an easing of the rule that subsidies are reduced if planned performance targets are not met by the institutes.

This also applies to subsidies to specific projects and initiatives; subsidies will still be paid even if certain planned targets are not met. The six main national cultural funds will also help to implement the measures above and so doing, help the cultural institutes those respective funds support.

The measure applies to enterprises as well as institutes. Most cultural institutes are not enterprises in fact but the sector has many self-employed and freelancers.


The following updates to this measure have been made after it came into effect.

26 November 2021

Due to the new measures introduced on 26 November 2021, this measure was re-opened until the end of the year to support the cultural sector with an additional €68 million. These funds are a continuation of the earlier specific support.

30 August 2021

This was part of the general package of measures expiring on 1 October 2021.

Use of measure

So far, the cultural and creative sector has received about €1.1 billion (excluding Tozo) of support from generic measures. The cultural sector is characterised by a diversity of institutions, employment contracts and cultural expressions; generic packages were therefore not enough to cultural and creative sector. That is why the cabinet has, in addition to these measures, earmarked more than €906 million for makers, institutions and companies in the cultural and creative sector (Rijksoverheid, 2021).

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Does not apply to workers Solo-self-employed
Sector specific set of companies
One person or microenterprises
Other businesses
Does not apply to citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
National government
Other social actors (e.g. NGOs)
Local / regional government
National funds

Social partners

Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role Consulted Consulted
Form Direct consultation outside a formal body Direct consultation outside a formal body

Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:

  • Unknown
  • Main level of involvement: Unknown


Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 crisis, the government has had regular and close consultation with the social partners. Together the national level social partners and the government arrived at the first and second packages of emergency measures, announced 17 March and 20 May respectively.

Views and reactions

There has been consultation and discussion between social partners (both unions, employer organisations, and other relevant sector representatives) from sectors and the government. The cultural and creative sector were especially vocal about the effects of the virus for their sector and in consultation with the sector, the government presented extra support for this sector.

Sectors and occupations

    • Economic area Sector (NACE level 2)
      R - Arts, Entertainment And Recreation R90 Creative, arts and entertainment activities
      R91 Libraries, archives, museums and other cultural activities
      R93 Sports activities and amusement and recreation activities

This case is not occupation-specific.



Eurofound (2020), Extra package of support measures for the cultural sector, measure NL-2020-13/771 (measures in Netherlands), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin,


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Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process.