Country Profiles

The Councils for the Environment and Infrastructure

Raden voor de Leefomgeving en infrastructuur (RLI)



Raden voor de Leefomgeving en infrastructuur (RLI)

Nieuwe Uitleg 1

2514 BP Den Haag

Postbus 90653 2509 EX Den-Haag, The Netherlands



Mission Statement

‘The new Council for the Environment and Infrastructure will be tasked with advising the government, the Senate and the House of Representatives on strategic policy issues involving the sustainable development of the environment and infrastructure, focusing on the areas of housing, spatial planning, the environment, climate policy, water, agriculture, nature, food (quality), traffic and transport and spatial-economic development.’

The councils monitor trends and developments, call attention to social issues and put such issues on the agenda. Advisory reports are drawn up in an open process in collaboration with the requesting parties and stakeholders in society.

Role and Functions

  • advising on government policy or making policy recommendations, including NSDS; and
  • stakeholder engagement

 Recent Activities

The councils operate by a common schedule of activities and hold joint monthly meetings. Advisory reports are public. 2012 priorities include:

  • Future of agriculture;
  • Transition to sustainable energy;
  • Future of the city;
  • Re-evaluation of green areas; and
  • Logistical infrastructure of the Netherlands.


A New Sustainable Development Strategy: An Opportunity Not To Be Missed (2007)

Composition and Membership

In 2010/11 the Netherlands revised the structure of its advisory bodies by merging the Council for the Rural Area (RLG); the Advisory Council for Research on Spatial Planning, Nature and the Environment (RMNO); the Council for Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment (VROM-Raad) to form the RLI. The three councils were established by law in 1997. ‘By pursuing an integrated approach and providing strategic-level advice, the councils aim to contribute to deepening and broadening the political and social debates, as well as improving the quality of the decision-making.’

Chair, RLG: A.J.A.M. Vermee

Chair, RMNO: G.J. Jansen

Chair, VROM-Raad: H.M. Meijdam

Secretary-General to the three councils and head of the RLI secretariat: Dr. Ron Hillebrand.

Each separate council is composed of three council members, including the chairs. The members are independent and appointed on the basis of their broad social expertise and experience. They originate from public administration circles, the business community or the academic world. The council members are appointed by royal decree for a maximum term of four years. The council members are supported by a group of associate members. The councils may select members from this group of experts and add them to a committee preparing an advisory report.

The newly formed joint secretariat has 25 members.