According to Article 1 of the Act of 20 September 1948 on economic organisation, the Central Economic Council's mission is to prepare all opinions and proposals on questions relating to the national economy and send them in the form of reports, which include the various points of view expressed by its members, to a Minister or the legislative chambers, either on its own initiative or at the request of these authorities.
Since 1948, the council's advisory powers have been gradually widened to take account of new legislation. In some instances, the council must produce opinions on particular issues, which the government is legally obliged to refer to it.
In particular, the council must be consulted on the type and scope of economic and financial information to be supplied to the business councils; on some implementing decisions of the Act of 17 July 1975 covering accounting and annual company accounts; and on the setting of the rate of employer contributions to workers' railway passes.
By virtue of the Act of 26 July 1996 on employment promotion and the precautionary protection of competitiveness, every year before 31 January and 31 July, the Central Economic Council and the National Labour Council must draft a report on trends in employment and labour costs.Furthermore, every year before 30 September, the Central Economic Council is required to produce a technical report on the maximum available margin of growth in labour costs, which is decisive in negotiating collective bargaining agreements.
The Act of 5 August 1991 on the protection of economic competition provided for the establishment within the council of a Competition Board which, depending on each case, prepares an opinion for the government, the relevant minister or the Competition Council on the implementing decisions of the above-mentioned act, amendments to it and on all questions pertaining to competition policy in general.
In accordance with the Act of 16 July 1993 on the completion of the Belgian State's federal structure, and which introduced a system of ecological taxes, a committee to monitor ecological taxes was set up in the prime minister's office, which is responsible for assessing the micro- and macro-economic impact of these taxes, with particular reference to employment, ecological effectiveness and to participate in public information and awareness campaigns for these taxes, etc. This monitoring committee is required to consult the council before issuing its own opinion.