Creative Twinning

Is your company or NGO a cultural organisation? And are your cultural activities aimed at contributing to social cohesion in countries bordering on the European Union? If so, you might be eligible for a 2018–2020 Creative Twinning grant, a new subsidy scheme. For the number of applications received by and the total amount of the requested grants, please check the current information under Budget.

Creative activities at the EU borders

Cultural freedoms in the EU border countries are under severe pressure. This situation compromises the relationship between the European Union and its neighbours, and results in isolation of artists or other creative persons. Taking part in diverse cultural activities is also becoming more and more difficult in these countries, especially when they harbour large numbers of refugees and migrants. An open dialogue on cultural differences is sometimes replaced by cultural confrontation or even intentional cultural destruction.

Creative Twinning is a subsidy scheme which assists in the development of cultural activities in countries bordering the EU. These activities strengthen mutual links, increase trust and improve communication between the Netherlands and the countries involved.

Creative Twinning projects contribute to:

  • a more vigorous local cultural sector, which can contribute to social innovation;
  • more participation in cultural events by young people;
  • a safer, more sustainable urban living environment;
  • sustainable preservation of local cultural heritage.

Young people between the ages of 15 and 24 in countries bordering the EU are the target group of these cultural activities that relate to the visual arts, performing arts, film and literature. Projects involving multidisciplinary art forms, cultural heritage and the design sectors (architecture, creative design and new media) are also welcome to apply for a grant. Projects aim to contribute to inclusiveness for specific youth groups.


A key component of Creative Twinning projects is collaboration, since the scheme focuses on increasing trust and improving communication between the Netherlands and EU neighbours. As a result, your organisation must be engaged in an alliance to be eligible for a Creative Twinning subsidy. Find out more about the criteria for collaboration.

Eligible countries

Creative Twinning is open for projects in countries bordering the European Union. These countries must meet the following conditions:

Lebanon, Mali and the Palestinian territories are excluded as target countries for this programme.


The Creative Twinning scheme closed on 31 August 2018, 12 am CET.


Each project may apply for a grant of € 600,000 to € 1,400,000. 4 to 8 projects will receive a grant under the Creative Twinning scheme.

We expect that the budget will be spent on the basis of proposals already received and, therefore, will put assessment of new proposals on hold. If it appears that there is budget available after all, the proposals will be taken into account in order of date and time of receipt.

Situation as of 24 August 2018 NumberTotal amount
Applications under consideration10€ 9,965,000
Grants1€    600,000


Through the Creative Twinning scheme, the Dutch government subsidises cultural activities in countries bordering the EU. Such activities should increase the stability in these countries and contribute to a flourishing cultural sector of wider social significance. Creative Twinning seeks to connect people from different cultural backgrounds.

The Creative Twinning subsidy scheme was established by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Read more about the Creative Twinning policy framework, as published in the official government gazette (Staatscourant).


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