The Economic, Social and Environmental Council (ESEC), a consultative body of general jurisdiction, expanded its competences and missions following the reform of the Constitution and the enactment of the organic law No. 2010-704 /28 June 2010.
The Council is primarily invested with five missions:
1. Advise the Government and Parliament and participate in the development of the economic, social and environmental policies;
2. Promote, through its composition, the dialogue between occupational groups with different concerns, who get together and develop proposals in the public interest;
3. Contribute to the evaluation of public policies in the economic, social and environmental field;
4. Promote a constructive dialogue and cooperation with the consultative bodies created within local governments and with its European and foreign counterparts;
5. Contribute to inform citizens.
Who can refer to the ESEC?
The Economic, Social and Environmental Council may be refered to by the Prime Minister. It is mandatory for any project of an economic, social or environmental plan or program and may be associated with their development. The Prime Minister may also refer to the Council for legislation projects for multiannual programming guidelines for public finances, laws, orders, decrees and legislative proposals within the competence of the Council.
The Council may also be consulted on any economic, social and environmental issue, by the President of the National Assembly or the President of the Senate.
The Council may also take note and call the attention of the Government and the Parliament on the reforms it considers necessary. In this context, the opinions of the Economic, Social and Environmental Council are forwarded to the Prime Minister, the President of the National Assembly, the President of the Senate and published in the Official Journal.
Finally, the Council may be referred to, for any economic, social and environmental issue, by means of petition. The petition - signed by at least 500 000 adult persons (French citizens or legal residents) - is addressed by a single attorney to the President. The Bureau evaluates the petition and decides on its admissibility; within one year, the Council must decide, by an opinion adopted in a plenary session, on the issues raised in the admissible petitions and the actions to take.