The German Culture Pass reduced to €100

Implemented for the first time in June 2023, the KulturPass – similar to the French Culture Pass – is renewed in 2024 but with a reduction in the amount allocated, now limited to €100 for each young person aged eighteen (instead of 200 €). This decision was confirmed on January 19 by Claudia Roth, German federal government delegate for Culture and Media, but must still be voted on by the Bundestag.

“Maintaining the KulturPass for all people born in 2006 constituted a significant effort on everyone’s part, taking into account the general budgetary situation” explains Claudia Roth. In 2023, the State had put 100 million euros into the KulturPass system, then considered a pilot project. This amount was more difficult to defend in 2024 given the mixed results, the program having met less success than in Italy or France. Out of 750,000 beneficiaries, only 265,000 young people took advantage of the pass.

The operation remains the same: all young people born in 2006 will be able to identify themselves in the application or on the website, unlock their KulturPass budget and use it from their eighteenth birthday. Young people born in 2005 will also be able to continue using their budget throughout the year.

The KulturPass is valid in bookstores, cinemas, concerts and festivals, theater, opera but also in museums, record stores and music stores. By October 2023, spending by young Germans under this program had generated more than 8.6 million euros in turnover, half of which was from the purchase of books.

Upon learning of its renewal with a lower amount in 2024, the Börsenverein (Association of German Publishers and Booksellers) declared itself both relieved and disappointed. Peter Kraus vom Cleff, director of the Börsenverein, is concerned that structural support for publishing is not provided for in the budget. According to him, “Without this support already provided for in the coalition agreement, diversity in the book market will be increasingly threatened. Financing publishing must be urgently put on the agenda of the 2025 budget, otherwise publishers and therefore cultural diversity will die more and more quickly” reports Publishing Perspectives.

In France, the Culture Pass had also suffered a budget reduction. When the program was launched in 2018, the amount of the pass was €500 per eighteen-year-old. It is now set at €300 but is also extended to other age groups, being accessible to young people aged fifteen to eighteen.

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