The Federal Governments's cultural policy
Providing new impetus
The culture and media policy of the Federal Government has noticeably increased in significance during this legislative period. A creative and open-minded society depends on ideas and visions created by its culture and the arts. Culture forms the basis of social cohesion – and provides crucial values for a which is worth living in. Cultural policy can create, safeguard and improve the appropriate framework for this.
As Minister of State in the Federal Chancellery, since November 2005 Bernd Neumann has been the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media. During his time in office to date, major successes in cultural policy have been achieved such as the fact that the Federal Government’s spending on culture has been increased by 7.8 percent. With the adoption of the budget for 2009, the allocation for the Minister of State for Culture was increased to 1.13 billion Euro.
This money will be used to fund cultural establishments and projects of national significance. In 2007, in addition to his Departmental allocation, a further 400 million Euro was made available to the Minister of State for Culture and the Media for cultural investments of national significance. This is a unique success for the upkeep of our national heritage throughout the Federal Republic.
But cultural policy is not just a question of money. Bernd Neumann thinks of himself as an advocate for culture. His central concern is to create the best conditions to enable art and culture to unfurl. So he has supported a whole series of measures for the benefit of cultural life in and to raise the profile of as a cultural nation in a European context.
Minister of State for Culture and the Media
In order to bring together the responsibility for the cultural and media policy of the Federal Government, since 1998 there has been a “Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media” (BKM) in the Federal Cabinet. This is the official title of the Minister of State, and at the same time it is also the name of the Department which reports to him, with around 200 staff in Berlin and Bonn. The Federal Government’s cultural policy is supported by the German Parliamentary Committee on Cultural and Media Affairs.
Minister of State for Culture and the Media Bernd Neumann was born in 1942 in Elbing (West Prussia). Following his teacher training studies, he worked as a teacher in Bremen until 1971. Bernd Neumann has been a member of the CDU since 1962. From 1979 to May 2008 he was the regional chairman and since then he has been the honorary chairman of the CDU Bremen. He has been a member of the German Parliament, the Bundestag, since 1987. From 1991 to 1998 he was a Parliamentary Secretary of State, firstly at the Federal Ministry of Research and Technology, and since 1994 at the Federal Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Technology. He is married and has two adult children. From 1998 to 2005 Bernd Neumann was the spokesman for the CDU/CSU parliamentary group on the Cultural and Media Affairs Committee, a role which he carried out until his appointment as Minister of State for Culture and the Media.
Working hand-in-hand with culture
Bernd Neumann does not view cultural policy as being a signpost or guidebook for those involved in the arts and culture. He is much more concerned to create a suitable context in which art and culture can unfurl. As Minister of State for Culture and the Media, in the Federal Government he advocates the interests of authors, artists and creative individuals as well as those of the staff of cultural establishments.
"Support for art and culture ist nost a subsidy, but an essential investment in Germany's future."
Minister of State for Culture and the Media Bernd Neumann
The budget of the Minister of State provides funding for major establishments. Amongst others, these include: the broadcasting service Deutsche Welle, the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation, the German National Library, the Federal Archives, the Federal Commissioner for the Documents of the State Security Service (Stasi) of the former German Democratic Republic (BStU), the German Historical Museum in Berlin, the “House of the History of the Federal Republic of Germany” in Bonn and the Art and Exhibition Hall of the Federal Republic of Germany.