Roles and responsibilities of Central Government

Central government is responsible for national environmental policy directed to contributing to sustainable economic development and to the health and safety of people by maintaining and improving the quality of the environment.

Preparing and coordinating national policy and strategies on the environment includes ensuring implementation of EU legislation in national regulations. 

In carrying out these tasks and responsibilities, the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment works closely with other ministries, provincial and municipal authorities, the private sector, research organisations, and the general public. This is in line with the long tradition in the Netherlands of consultation and cooperation between government bodies, citizens, and civil society organisations. Consensus is a vital element in the political culture of decision-making. 

White Papers

In addition to proposals to Parliament for national legislation, the Ministry prepares White Papers which provide guidelines for the preparation of national legislation and regulations. These documents set out agreed approaches to the complex and interrelated issues on the environment. 

The White Papers provide the framework for municipal and local authorities to formulate policy and regulations within their own jurisdictions.