Interdepartmental Directors North Sea Consultative Body (IDON)

All ministries with duties and responsibilities on the North Sea work together in the Interdepartmental Directors North Sea Consultative Body (IDON). This agency coordinates the development of policy and drafts resolutions on the management of the North Sea.

IDON's coordinating role ensures that the ministries create policy from one and the same common vision on the status, use and further development of the North Sea area. The tasks relating to management of the North Sea that arise as a result are fine-tuned under the auspices of IDON. This means that the government can fulfil its role in relation to sustainably shaping current and future use of the North Sea as a single body.
IDON is a partnership between the ministries of Infrastructure and Water Management (chair); Economic Affairs and Climate; Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality; Internal Affairs and Kingdom Relations; Defence; Finance; Justice and Security; Education, Culture and Science; and the implementing organisations Rijkswaterstaat and the Coast Guard.

Structural vision for use of space on the North Sea

The importance of the coordinating role of IDON has only increased over the past few years. The North Sea has become busier year-on-year and use will continue to intensify. So the government has shifted its focus over the past few years: emphasising its own structural vision for the use of space and the social interests that go hand-in-hand with it. Consultation and coordination on the new approach were concentrated at management level within IDON.
The new approach has clearly begun to take shape under the Policy Document on the North Sea 2009-2015 and the subsequent Policy Document on the North Sea 2016-2021. It comes to the fore in the current North Sea Programme 2022-2027 as an over-arching vision for ecologically sound and sustainable use of the North Sea in 2050. The balance between the energy transition, the food transition and strengthening the ecosystem of the North Sea has highest priority in the vision.

Consultation at European and global level

The water system, ecology and use of the North Sea are transnational and bring the Netherlands permanently into contact and consultation with other countries. IDON plays a crucial role in this respect: for instance, it coordinates the implementation of European legislation, such as the Marine Strategy Framework Directive and the EU Maritime Spatial Planning Framework Directive. Conversely, IDON ensures that Dutch interests and standpoints can be clearly and unambiguously presented on the European and global stage.