CES - The Economic and Social Council of Romania
- Florian Costache
- Nicolae Chirila
The Economic and Social Council is a consultative body of the Parliament and of the Government of Romania, in socio-economic fields, as established by its Statute. It is an autonomous tripartite public institution of national interest, set up with the aim of achieving the tripartite dialogue at national level among employers, trade unions and representatives of civil society non-governmental organisations and foundations.
The Economic and Social Council has an advisory role in establishing the economic and social strategy and policy of the country, in mitigating disputes among the social partners at national level, and in achieving, promoting and developing social dialogue and solidarity.
The ESC has the following obligations:
a) to issue opinions on draft acts in its field of competence, initiated by the Government, as well as on legislative proposals of deputies and senators, inviting the initiators to take part in the debates on the respective draft acts and legislative proposals;
b) to elaborate analyses and studies on the economic and social facts upon request from the Government or the Parliament, on its own initiative;
c) to inform the Government and the Parliament on the emergence of economic and social events that call for new regulations.
The ESC's fields of competence are:
a) economic policies;
b) financial and fiscal policies
c) labour relations, social protection, wage policy and the promotion of equal opportunities and equal treatment;
d) agriculture, rural development,environment and sustainable development
e) consumer protection and fair competition;
f) cooperatives, liberal professions and independent activities;
g) civil rights and freedoms;
h) health policies;
i) education, youth, research, culture and sports policies.
The ESC is composed of 45 members - including the President and the Vice-presidents - appointed by the social partners, as follows:
- 15 members nominated by the employers' confederations representative at national level;
- 15 members nominatd by the trade union confederations representative at national level;
- 15 members representing civil society organizations, appointed by the Prime Minister,on proposal of the Ministry of Labour, Family, Social Protection and Elderly.
The Economic and Social Council's members serve for a term of four years; their mandate is renewable.
The constituent bodies of the ESC are: the Plenary Assembly, the Bureau, the President and the Vice-Presidents; the Standing Specialist Advisory Committees and the Technical Secretariat.
The President of the Economic and Social Council is elected on a proposal from the Parties (employers, trade unions and civil society oranisations),by a three-fourth majority vote of the total number of the members of the ESC Plenary.
The Specialist Advisory Committees are the structure of the Economic and Social Council that examine matters specific to the areas of activity for which they are established and propose to the ESC Plenary the appropriate settlement measures. The Standing Specialist Advisory Committees are:
a) The Committee on Economic Development, Competition and Business Environment;
b) The Committee on Civil Rights and Liberties, Equal Opportunities and Equal Treatment;
c) The Committee on Labour Relations, Wage Policy, Social Inclusion, Social Protection and Health;
d) The Committee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Environmental Protection and Sustainable Development;
e) The Committee on Education,Youth, Sports, Research, Vocational Training and Culture;
f) The Committee on Consumer Protection and Loyal Competition;
g) The Committee on Cooperaties, Liberal Professions and Independent Activities;
h) The Committee on Rights and Liberties of Civil Society Organisations;
i) The Committee on Public Administration and Public Order
The Economic and Social Council operates either at the request of the legislative bodies (Government, Parliament) or on its own initiative on matters falling within its competence. The activity of the Economic and Social Council is organised according to its Rules of Procedure.
The Specialised Sections examine the matters specific to their area of competence, issue opinions to be examined during the Plenary Session by the Plenary Assembly, which is supposed to provide the final opinion.
The Plenary decisions are generally adopted by the social partners’ consensus. When the consensus is not reached, the decisions are put to vote and adopted by a three-quarter majority of the members of the ESC present at the meeting.
The Plenary Session proceedings take place in open sessions.