Delta Programme Commissioner Wim Kuijken

Wim Kuijken was appointed as Delta Programme Commissioner as of 1 February 2010. As the Delta Programme Commissioner, Wim Kuijken is responsible for drawing up, updating, and (commissioning) the implementation of the Delta Programme on behalf of the Cabinet. As a government commissioner, he submits proposals for the Delta Programme, including its financial consequences. The Delta Programme concerns the long-term flood protection of our country and its freshwater supply. Wim Kuijken was reappointed for another term as Delta Programme Commissioner with effect from 1 February 2017.

Wim Kuijken in the dunes

Responsibilities of the Delta Programme Commissioner

The Delta Programme Commissioner:

  • makes an annual proposal for the Delta Programme and submits this to the coordinating Minister and the other Ministers involved with the programme;
  • promotes consultation with the administrative bodies, companies, and NGOs involved;
  • monitors the progress of the implementation of the Delta Programme, reporting to and advising the coordinating Minister and the other Ministers involved.

Delta Programme Commissioner Kuijken monitors and steers the political-administrative process concerning the Delta Programme but does not bear (final) political responsibility. That responsibility lies with the coordinating Minister, the Minister of Infrastructure and Water Management. The Delta Programme Commissioner is tasked with monitoring the implementation of the Delta Programme and regularly reporting to the coordinating Minister on the progress made. The Delta Programme Commissioner reports directly to the Minister of Infrastructure and Water Management, who – if necessary – submits decisions to the Council of Ministers.

The Delta Programme Commissioner may participate in the Council for Financial Affairs, Economic Affairs, Infrastructure and Agriculture (RFEZIL) in his capacity as expert. The Ministries of Infrastructure & Water Management, Economic Affairs & Climate Policy, Agriculture, Nature & Food Quality, Finance, Foreign Affairs, Social Affairs & Employment, and Education, Culture & Science are represented on this sub-council, which is chaired by the Prime Minister.

The Delta Programme Commissioner may advise the Cabinet members involved on his own accord, and if need be, suggest that they use their powers should the progress of the Delta Programme threaten to stagnate.

The Delta Programme Commissioner monitors the coherence and progress of the Delta Programme, and garners support at all administrative levels concerned for measures and the overall programme. In doing so, he not only addresses the national government, but all the stakeholders involved in the Delta Programme. To this end, the Delta Programme Commissioner regularly consults with the administrative bodies involved, and if need be, he may suggest that they use their powers should the progress of the Delta Programme threaten to stagnate.

Delta Act

The position, authorities, and duties of the Delta Programme Commissioner are legally embedded in the Delta Act. The bill was submitted to the House of Representatives on 1 February 2010 and debated on 20 June 2011. On 28 June 2011, the House of Representatives adopted the bill for the Delta Act. On 29 November 2011, the Senate unanimously approved the Delta Act, thus securing the legal basis of the Delta Programme, the Delta Fund, and the position of Delta Programme Commissioner. The Delta Act came into force on 1 January 2012. In anticipation of the Delta Act, the position of Delta Programme Commissioner had already been set down in a Ministerial Decree: Besluit betreffende de instelling van de deltacommissaris (Decree establishing the position of Delta Programme Commissioner) dated 1 February 2010; Official Gazette no. 1574. The Council of Ministers appointed Wim Kuijken in November 2009 and, at the request of the House of Representatives, he took office earlier (before the final approval of the Delta Act) in order to start his work as quickly as possible. In 2016, the Delta Act was evaluated by an independent Committee. At the behest of Minister Schultz of Infrastructure and the Environment Schultz and in accordance with the Delta Act, Delta Programme Commissioner Wim Kuijken was reappointed by Royal Decree for another term, with effect from 1 February 2017.