RIVM works on a variety of societal challenges in the field of health, environment and safety. The needs and questions of our commissioners, such as ministries, inspectorates and local authorities define the goals and scope of our work.  These questions often have an international dimension.

Disease pathogens, radiation and air pollution, extend beyond national borders. Many health and environmental issues require an international approach. Therefore, much policy is developed at European and global level, for instance, in the EU European Union (European Union) and the UN United Nations  (United Nations ). Addressing the increasingly complex societal challenges requires international collaboration and coordination. RIVM wants to play its part. 

Why we work internationally

Through our international work, we contribute to fulfilling the international commitments of the Netherlands and the EU, for instance, by collaborating with EU agencies such as EFSA, ECHA, ECDC, EMA and EEA, and the World Health Organization (WHO). International collaboration enables us to keep abreast with the latest developments in research and innovations. It enhances and strengthens our knowledge base and, as a result, improves the quality of our research and policy advice. We share our knowledge and expertise abroad.  We have a strong international track record, from bilateral to multilateral engagement. For example, ten WHO Collaborating Centres are hosted by RIVM.  Our WHO Collaborating Centre for Risk Assessment of Pathogens in Food and Water has provided WHO with scientific advice on risk assessment for food- and water-related pathogens and antimicrobial resistance in addition to assisting WHO’s normative work for more than 40 years.

Memberships and networks

We are a member of several associations and networks, such as the International Association of National Public Health Institutes (IANPHI), the IC4Health consortium, and the European Public Health Association. We keep in close contact with our main counterparts worldwide, such as national public health and environmental institutes.

International research and innovation

RIVM participates in a wide range of international research and innovation projects to help solve some of the biggest societal challenges, for instance, climate change. We support the Netherlands in achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals.  This way, we improve public health and the environment in the Netherlands, Europe and beyond.