Working method of the Delta Programme
The Delta Programme is a national programme in which the central government (the Ministries of Infrastructure and the Environment / Economic Affairs), the provinces, municipalities and water boards collaborate with civil society organisations, the business community and knowledge institutes.
Looking for solutions and implementing measures requires a wide range of expertise and experience. Involvement at all levels is essential. Knowledge of an area or environment is also invaluable. The state and the regions need one another. For that reason, the Delta Programme is based on collaboration and participation. That is why ministries, provinces, municipalities, water boards, the business community, civil society organisations and individual citizens have joined forces.
Know-how and innovation
In the years ahead, the parties involved in the Delta Programme will collectively develop expertise in support of the decision-making process. They will also explore alternative and innovative solutions.
They are working on:
- a set of scenarios constituting the basis for all studies conducted within the framework of the Delta Programme;
- a system to properly compare and weigh up the various solutions;
- a model for the Delta Programme in order to be able to carry out the underlying calculations.
The Netherlands occupies a leading position worldwide when it comes to delta technology. Innovation not only serves the Delta Programme but also boosts our economy and promotes our exports. The recommendations regarding the Water Top Sector have once again turned the spotlight onto the opportunities.
Various principals and co-principals are involved in the implementation of the Delta Programme.
The sub-programmes have been commissioned by two ministries:
- Infrastructure and the Environment (I&M)
- Economic Affairs (EZ)
The Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment is responsible for seven sub-programmes:
- Freshwater supply
- IJsselmeer region
- Rhine Estuary-Drechtsteden
- New construction and restructuring
The Ministry of Economic Affairs is responsible for two sub-programmes:
- South-western Delta
- Wadden region
Co-principals of the area-oriented sub-programmes are the provinces, municipalities and water boards. They collaborate with the national government in the elaboration and implementation of the sub-programmes. Each sub-programme has its own programme organisation, run by a programme director and staffed by employees of the central government and the provinces.
In order to link the central government with the provinces and connect regional issues with national ones, steering groups have been set up within the sub-programmes. Each sub-programme draws up an action plan. This is discussed in the steering group (whose members are delegates from the national and provincial authorities) and submitted to social stakeholders for advice.
The sub-programmes operate with broad-based programme organisations and revolve around social participation. Principals, programme organisations, executive councils and the House of Representatives are advised by social organisations, which are represented in area-oriented consultative bodies and the Executive Council for Transport and Public Works (OVN). Administrative consultation on the three national sub-programmes takes place in the national consultation body Bestuurlijk Koepel Overleg. The six regional sub-programmes are discussed in regional steering groups and consultation bodies.
The proposals developed by the nine sub-programmes are discussed in the Delta Programme steering group or the national consultation body, made up of ministers and administrators. The Delta Commissioner co-ordinates the various administrative consultations and plays a pivotal role in preparing the decision process in the ministerial steering group and the Council of Ministers, based on agreements reached in the national administrative consultations.
The House of Representatives has final say. Following the decisions of the Council of Ministers, the Delta Programme is submitted to the House of Representatives, together with the national budget.
Municipal Delta Programme Ambassadors
A ‘municipal ambassador’ for the Delta Programme has been appointed for each of the six area-oriented sub-programmes. These ambassadors are responsible for involving municipalities in the Delta Programme by providing information, encouragement and, wherever necessary, support. They act as liaison officers between the programme organisation and the municipal authorities. Further details regarding the concept of municipal ambassadors and the newsletter on municipalities and the Delta Programme (in Dutch only) are available on the website of the Association of Netherlands Municipalities.
Consultation and collaboration with other authorities, civil society organisations and the business community are essential to create, maintain or expand social and administrative support for the implementation of the Delta Programme. Participation is a key instrument for involving interest groups and individuals in the development of plans and to capitalise on their expertise and views in order to improve the quality of policy and decisions, thus reinforcing the social basis. During consultation rounds, anyone may submit ideas on particular issues. Representatives from organisations, for example, in the fields of agriculture and the natural environment, the business community, knowledge institutes and social partners are invited to think along at an early stage in the process, with regard to the Delta Programme as a whole but also with regard to the individual sub-programmes.
Citizens may also participate in components of a sub-programme that are open to public input at the municipalities or provinces. Furthermore, interested parties may demonstrate their involvement by ventilating their opinions via the Delta Commissioner’s web site. In addition, under the General Administrative Law Act, anyone may officially submit his or her views regarding draft resolutions.
External advice and an independent view from outsiders are important to the Delta Programme. The Council for the Living Environment and Infrastructure advises the Delta Programme regarding spatial planning, the natural environment, mobility and water. A specific advisory role for the Delta Programme will be discussed with the Advisory Committee for Water (AcW).
Staff of the Delta Commissioner
The Delta Commissioner is responsible for the coherence and progress of the Delta Programme. The Delta Commissioner is supported by some 14 staff.