The Netherlands Scientific Council for Government Policy (WRR) is an independent advisory body for government policy. Its position is governed by the Act Establishing a Scientific Council on Government Policy of 30 June 1976 (Instellingswet WRR). The task of the WRR is to advise the Dutch government and Parliament on strategic issues that are likely to have important political and societal consequences.
An introduction to the WRR
Anne-Greet Keizer – Senior research fellow and International liaison:
The Netherlands Scientific Council for Government Policy
is an independent advisory body.
The council is also known
under the Dutch abbreviation WRR.
Our task is to advise the Dutch government
and parliament on longer term strategic issues
that are likely to have important societal
and political consequences.
The WRR is part
of a rich Dutch advisory landscape,
in which several councils and other bodies
have their own particular task.
Within this landscape the WRR has to tackle
issues that are not tied to any one policy sector,
and are concerned with the overall direction
of government policy for the longer term.
The WRR comprises a council of
eight members and an academic staff,
which work together closely
in project teams.
Advisory reports are always discussed
extensively in staff and council meetings,
and are therefore a product
of the collective council.
Council members hold academic chairs in diverse fields,
covering natural and social sciences and humanities.
With this range of expertise,
they collectively reflect the different dimensions
of society and policy.
Since its establishment in 1972 the WRR
has written reports on a wide variety of topics.
It has built up a rich portfolio covering area’s
such as economic development,
the labour market, migration, health, climate policy,
digitalisation and the future of Europe.
The WRR is organisationally part
of the Ministry of the Prime Minister.
However, it has its own
Act of Establishment,
with a number of stipulations
that confirm its independent position.
The council determines its own work programme,
and what and when we publish.
The act of establishment also safeguards
the reception of our work.
The government is obliged
to respond publicly to our reports,
in the form of a Memorandum to Parliament.
The WRR is independent but not isolated.
During a project we consult a wide range
of experts from both academia and practice.
Our craftsmanship focuses on
the translation to and from science.
We are experts in translating
a societal issue into a policy problem,
followed by a scientific question.
But also, in explaining the policy relevance
of scientific findings…
and actually formulating policy advice
that works and is acceptable.
WRR’s logo appears on screen.
On-screen text: The Netherlands Scientific Council for Government Policy.