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Joint Statement on Budget Cuts for Culture in Flanders
Joint Statement on Budget Cuts for Culture in Flanders
12 Feb, 2020

The European book sector, represented by the European Writers’ Counci (http://europeanwriterscouncil NULL.eu/)l, the Federation of (https://fep-fee NULL.eu/)
European Publishers, the European and International Booksellers Federation (https://europeanbooksellers NULL.eu/) and the
European Council of Literary Translators’ Associations, has learnt with consternation about the
proposed savings on culture by the Flemish Minister for Culture. Besides a linear cancellation
of 6 %, especially the reduction of 60% on the project grants deprives beginning and advanced
artists who want to build their narrative about Flanders, Europe and the world. The social
benefits and individual emancipation effects of reading need an active reading promotion
program with the support of all the actors in the book sector.

Together with our Flemish colleagues and members, EWC, FEP, EIBF and CEATL have been
supporting a rich and diverse literary landscape with a wide and inclusive range. The
cooperation with the entire cultural sector is paramount, to look beyond policy areas and
boundaries and to the support of the artists, in particular the writers, so that they can build
their oeuvre and have a decent life.

These reductions affect also the authors who often have incomes deriving from many sources.
Literary events’ organisers have been reporting for years the lack of indexing of allowances,
with a direct negative impact on income and opportunities for contact with readers.

The non-indexing – loss of 3 % – and the striking-out of 6 % of the budget of Literatuur
Vlaanderen seems to be compensated by extra money. In fact, it is destined for new missions
that serve more the ideological and promotional objectives of the government than the real
necessities of the partners in literature for whom the 3 % + 6 % deliveries damage the
dynamical development of the literature and Flemish authors, translators and illustrators.

In order to be able to support the existing growth opportunities and necessary dynamics, an
adequate financing of the entire cultural and arts sector is essential. We call on the Flemish
government to positively address the issue and properly fund culture for its vital role in

European Writers’ Council – President Nina George

Federation of European Publishers – President Rudy Vanschoonbeek

European and International Booksellers’ Federation – Co-President Fabian Paagman and Co-President Jean Luc Treutenaere

European Council of Literary Translators’ Associations – President Morten Visby

You can also read the letter here (http://europeanwriterscouncil NULL.eu/joint-statement-flemish-minister-of-culture/).

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