High Road to Culture in Flanders and the Netherlands


High Road to Culture in Flanders and the Netherlands

About us

the low countries is your high road to culture in Flanders and the Netherlands. It is our mission to provide an English-language audience with the necessary background information to be able to appreciate the arts, history, language, literature and societal developments in the Low Countries. We pay special attention to connections between Dutch and English-speaking communities. the low countries is a website of the Flemish-Dutch cultural institution Ons Erfdeel vzw.


Mission statement

Ons Erfdeel vzw offers its readers high-quality information and impressions of the cultural and societal developments in the Low Countries, supplemented with in-depth comments and criticism. We do so for a target audience of both native speakers of Dutch and speakers of a foreign language in a critical, independent way, by remaining respectful of our traditions.

Our goal is to build bridges between on the one hand Dutch-language speakers around the world and on the other hand everyone with a keen interest in the culture of the Low Countries.

We achieve our aim by publishing articles, magazines and books, in print as well as digitally, in Dutch, French and English. In addition, we organise numerous events in both the Low Countries and abroad.



In 1957, Jozef Deleu founded Ons Erfdeel magazine. The journal swiftly became a success, and for that reason, it was decided a more professional approach was needed by the 1960s. Hence, in 1970 the Ons Erfdeel Foundation (Stichting Ons Erfdeel) was set up. This cultural institution is not linked to any ideology, nor any political party, and is legally recognised in both the Netherlands and Flanders.

In June of 1972, Ons Erfdeel vzw launched the French-language magazine Septentrion, which was followed by the bilingual yearbook De Franse Nederlanden/Les Pays-Bas Français in 1976. In 1993, the first edition of the English-language yearbook was published, entitled The Low Countries.

Next to this, the institution distributes various books in different languages on numerous cultural aspects of the Netherlands and Flanders.

Ons Erfdeel vzw’s financial management and material infrastructure are organised separately from its editorial activities. The managing director acts as the link between the board of this institution and the editorial staff of Ons Erfdeel vzw’s various publications, as he is also the editor-in-chief of all publications. Jozef Deleu took on the role of managing director and editor-in-chief until April 30th, 2002. When he left, Luc Devoldere followed in his footsteps.

Since 2007, Ons Erfdeel vzw has also been present on the World Wide Web. Initially, our magazines and yearbooks were assigned their own blog in which the latest cultural events taking place in the Netherlands and Flanders were closely monitored. A little further down the line, we started publishing e-books and people were invited to subscribe to the digital versions of the magazines.

On 1 April 2019, Ons Erfdeel vzw launched three brand-new websites: www.de-lage-landen.com, www.les-plats-pays.com and www.the-low-countries.com. These sites provide you with daily updates on everything related to cultural life in the Low Countries.

To align the website www.de-lage-landen.com with the magazine Ons Erfdeel, Ons Erfdeel is renamed de lage landen as of 2020 (63rd edition).

Who is who?

Hendrik Tratsaert


Tom Christiaens

& editor
the low countries

Tomas Vanheste


Pieter Coupé

editor magazine
de lage landen

Peter Vanwijnsberghe

editor website
de lage landen

Hans Vanacker


Evelyne Ledoux-Beaugrand

les plats pays


Gijsbrecht Ostyn

marketing and
communications manager

Luna Ganne

communications officer
+32 56 41 12 01

Eva Debruyne

finance and
administration coordinator

Management board Ons Erfdeel vzw

president: Jan Schinkelshoek
managing director: Hendrik Tratsaert
board of directors: Danny De Raymaeker, Henriette Louwerse, Annick Schramme, Ingrid van Engelshoven, Katrijn Van Hauwermeiren, René van Stipriaan, Stijn Vercamer
general assembly:
board members + Luc Boghe, Geert Bourgeois, Axel Buyse, Bart Caron, Tom Christiaens, Bert De Graeve, Sieghild Lacoere, Hilde Laga, Nico Lucas, Marita Mathijsen, Tomas Vanheste
honorary president: Herman Balthazar

Ons Erfdeel is a non-profit association under Belgian law.

Editorial boards

arts: Saskia Bak, Lisa De Visscher, Claudine Hellweg, Gert Meesters, Manfred Sellink, Lieven Van Den Abeele, Lisa Wiegel, Karin Wolfs
history: Marnix Beyen, Anne-Lot Hoek, Elwin Hofman, Lotte Jensen, Anne-Laure Van Bruaene
language: Steven Delarue, Miet Ooms, Marc van Oostendorp, Marten van der Meulen, Geertje Slangen
literature: Bart Van der Straeten, Kim Andringa, Daniel Cunin, Heleen Debruyne, Anne Sluijs, Maria Vlaar, Anne van den Dool, Maarten Dessing, Lisa Rooijackers, Robin Goudsmit
society: Samira Bendadi, Johan Braeckman, Hind Fraihi, Doruntina Islamaj, Dorien Kouijzer, Jasmijn Post, Miriam Rasch, Marian Rijk

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Important to know

When you subscribe, you give permission for an automatic re-subscription. You can stop this at any time by contacting emma.reynaert@onserfdeel.be.