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Sven Gatz rallies politicians for cultural co-operation in Brussels

11:05 18/11/2014

Flemish culture minister Sven Gatz wants to hold a round table discussion to improve cultural co-operation in Brussels. Normally culture in Brussels is sharply divided between the Dutch-language and French-language communities, with just a few organisations such as Bozar and Flagey successfully spanning the two languages.

But Gatz wants to involve several different ministers and cultural bodies that have a role to play in the capital’s cultural scene, saying that it could not only improve communications and audience numbers but reduce costs.

Gatz has already met Joelle Milquet, his French-language counterpart, to talk about joint financing. He now wants to extend the discussion to other bodies involved in culture. “I want to broaden the dialogue to include representatives from the federal and European levels,” he told the newspaper Le Soir.

Gatz hopes to involve Didier Reynders, the minister responsible for federal cultural organisations, state secretary for science policy Elke Sleurs, Belgian finance minister Johan Van Overtveldt, minister-president of the French Community Commission Fadila Lanaan and her counterpart in the Flemish Community Commission, Pascal Smet. 

Milquet said she supports Gatz’s initiative. “There are far too many layers of responsibility when it comes to culture in Brussels,” she told Le Soir. “The cultural sector would be far more efficient if the different bodies worked together. It would also help the image of Brussels and our country if they did so.”

photo courtesy Open VLD

Written by Derek Blyth