Broadly speaking, the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment (I&M) consists of three sections: policy, implementation and inspection. In addition, the ministry has several support agencies to ensure that the top political and civil service layers as well as the employees are able to perform their work.
In the policy section, three Directorates-General are concerned with developing policy in the areas of mobility, water management, aviation and maritime affairs, spatial planning and the environment. The Directorate-General for Public Works and Water Management (Rijkswaterstaat, RWS) ensures that policy is implemented. Human Environment and Transport Inspectorate (ILT)oversees compliance with statutory regulations by private individuals and companies. The Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI) gathers information on the weather, climate and seismology and performs research. The Directorate-General for Public Works and Water Management, Human Environment and Transport Inspectorate (ILT), the Netherlands Emissions Authority, the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency and the KNMI are agencies of the ministry.
Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport (DGB)
The Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport focuses on the continued development of the network quality of airways, waterways, railways, the road network, harbours and ports. In addition, the Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport safeguards their safe and sustainable use by travellers and the transport sector. Thus, it contributes to the economic and spatial development of the Netherlands. Pivotal in the development of the networks is considering which investment would yield the highest profit and contribute most to a region´s spatial development. The networks are designed and used in a safe and liveable manner. The Ministry of I&M has initiated the Beter Benutten [Better Use] programme to improve the utilisation of the existing networks.
In addition, the Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport addresses the acceleration of exploratory studies, traffic jam issues, the logistics top sector, the network quality of Dutch aviation and competitive transport by water.
The Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport is led by Director-General Ms L. Ongering.
Directorate-General for Spatial Development and Water Affairs (DGRW)
The Directorate-General for Spatial Development and Water Affairs(DGRW) clusters the policy pursued by the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment in the field of the design of the main spatial structure. Together with other agencies, the Directorate-General for Spatial Development and Water Affairs is working on keeping our delta safe, liveable, accessible and competitive, now and in the future. The Directorate-General for Spatial Development and Water Affairs links spatial developments and mobility on the basis of the Infrastructure and Spatial Planning vision. The Directorate-General for Spatial Development and Water Affairs is responsible for the Multi-Year Investment Programme (MIRT), which covers the regional agendas, the co-ordination of administrative consultations and integrated exploratory studies into spatial planning. Thus, the spatial component in the programme is reinforced. In addition, the Directorate-General for Spatial Development and Water Affairs focuses on the simplification of laws governing physical surroundings (Eenvoudig Beter [Simply Better]), the Delta Programme, the water top sector, subsoil policy and GEO information.
The Directorate-General for Spatial Development and Water Affairs is led by Director-General Mr P. Heij.
Directorate-General for the Environment and International Affairs (DGMI)
The Directorate-General for the Environment and International Affairs is working on a healthy and safe living environment, taking account of the impact the Netherlands has on environmental problems in other countries. In summary, the policy issues of the Directorate-General for the Environment and International Affairs are: a sound environment, climate and sustainability. In the years ahead, the sustainability agenda will demand great efforts. Managing our natural resources is a precondition for the economic and social development of the Netherlands. Efficient ways to cope with shortages and use environmental space will be a major competitive factor. The Directorate-General for the Environment and International Affairs supports developments among citizens and businesses, for example, by reducing rules and regulations. The Directorate-General for the Environment and International Affairs not only addresses major long-term issues but also tackles the current quality of the living environment. In addition, the Directorate-General for the Environment and International Affairs focuses on the chain approach in the waste sector, the living environment (discussion and management of risks) and tackling noise pollution.
The Directorate-General for the Environment and International Affairs is led by Director-General Mr C. Kuijpers.
Rijkswaterstaat is the executive agency of the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment, responsible for the Dutch main road network, the main waterway network, the main water systems, and the environment in which they are embedded. Rijkswaterstaat facilitates smooth and safe flow of traffic, keeps the national water system safe, clean, user-friendly and protects the Netherlands against flooding.
The Dutch economy relies heavily on transport and logistics, our mainports must remain accessible. Hence, the Dutch mobility policy serves 2 goals: reliable travel times and better accessibility. By 2020, motorists travelling during rush hour should be able to arrive punctually 95% of the time, despite increased mobility and unexpected congestion.
The Dutch waterway network is the densest in Europe. About 6000 kilometres of rivers and canals, many of the latter serving drainage as well as navigation, form a complex system serving all parts of the country. The main commercial waterways (Class IV and higher), with a total length of 2200 kilometre, account for about 40% of international freight movements in the Netherlands and 20% of domestic freight. The main network is state-owned and operated by Rijkswaterstaat. Smaller waterways are managed by many different provincial authorities or drainage boards.
The Netherlands would be inhabitable without our flood defences and water management structure.
Having the right amount of water for water users, at the right time, in the right place, and at socially acceptable costs is one of our key targets. All measures are planned around the users, nature and the landscape and are carried out in close cooperation with water boards, other public authorities, NGOs and private parties.
Rijkswaterstaat tasks and responsibilities concerning the highways, waterways and water systems extend into the social environment in which they are embedded. The Environment division conducts various knowledge and implementation tasks in the field of environment for the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment, local authorities and other ministries within the Netherlands.
Drive for innovation
In collaboration with its partners from public, industry and research, Rijkswaterstaat strives for innovative solutions that increase its performance while reducing cost. Rijkswaterstaat's drive for innovation is to enable a national transport infrastructure network that performs better (+30%), costs less (-30% life cycle cost) and is future proof.
Like any other government agency in and outside Europe, Rijkswaterstaat is facing challenges to accommodate increased traffic growth, minimize congestion, maintain services in the face of increasing climate change effects, as well as deliver on environmental and societal objectives. Hence the strong drive for international cooperation, such as with our neighbouring countries, the European Union, the United States and China.
Human Environment and Transport Inspectorate (ILT)
The Human Environment and Transport Inspectorate (ILT) ensures compliance with statutory regulations pertaining to sustainability and physical safety.
The ILT is organised into seven inspectorate domains, which adopt an integrated approach in their supervision wherever possible. This reduces the burden of supervision and facilitates collaboration with other inspectorates and enforcement organisations. The inspectorate strives for an unequivocal supervisory relationship with its supervisees, increased collaboration with other inspectorates and a risk-oriented supervision policy based on trust and aimed at a reduction of supervision and administrative burdens.
Savings are achieved in eliminating duplications as a result of the merger and in reducing the number of executive and support functions. In the primary process, the inspectorate sets course for new supervision formats (digital inspections, system supervisions in case of diligent compliance), which render the inspections less labour-intensive and keep the level of compliance up to par. The simplifications in legislation and regulations and the decentralisation of responsibilities will also affect the staff capacity and deployment of the inspectorate. In this, central government confines itself to upholding state interests.
The inspectorate is led by Inspector-General Ms J. Thunnissen.
Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (PBL)
The Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (PBL) is the national institute for strategic policy analysis on environment, nature, and spatial planning issues of national and international significance. The agency contributes to political and administrative decision-making by conducting outlook studies, analyses and evaluations that take an integrated approach. Policy relevance is the prime focus in all studies, which are commissioned by the Ministry, other national bodies, and international agencies. These studies investigate current environmental, nature and spatial quality, and identify and explore future social trends and evaluate potential policy options.
PBL is headed by Director Mr. M. Hajer.
For more information, see: www.pbl.nl/en/
Royal Dutch Meteorological Institute (KNMI)
The Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute is the national institute for weather, the climate and seismology. The KNMI provides weather information in the areas of safety, the economy and a sustainable environment to the public, the government, the aviation sector and the shipping industry. In addition, the KNMI performs research into climate change and earthquakes and related phenomena.
This combination of infrastructure, technology, science and service provision is unique in the field of weather, the climate and seismology. At the global level, the KNMI works in close collaboration with other institutions and research institutes.
The major task of the KNMI is to make available the knowledge, data and information it has at its disposal. From its central weather room in De Bilt, the institute provides weather forecasts and warnings 24-hours a day. The KNMI delivers meteorological data and provides services on location especially for Schiphol national airport and Rotterdam Airport.
The climate research the KNMI performs is focused on observing, understanding and predicting changes in the climate system. The choice of research subjects is based on national and international climate research and on questions submitted by the government and civil society.
The KNMI is an agency of the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment. The duties of the institute are set forth in the KNMI Act.
The Managing Director is Mr. G. van der Steenhoven.
Knowledge, Innovation and Strategy
Knowledge, innovation and strategy are important themes for Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment in which additional resources will be expressly invested in the years ahead. I&M has a Knowledge, Innovation and Strategy Agenda.
Knowledge, Innovation and Strategy Directorate (KIS)
Knowledge, Innovation and Strategy Directorate is a small, high-quality unit supporting the Secretary-General as the knowledge, innovation and strategy portfolio holder for I&M.
The Director is Mr H. Leeflang.
Netherlands Institute for Transport Policy Analysis (KiM)
The Netherlands Institute for Transport Policy Analysis (KiM) performs research in the area of mobility. Through exploratory studies and policy analyses, the institute lays the basis for the mobility policy. The institute’s products are independent of policy-based and political steering. The policy Directorates-General of I&M and the Human Environment and Transport Inspectorate (ILT) are involved in drawing up the research programme of the KiM.
The Director is Mr J. de Wit.