The Economic, Social and Environmental Council (ESEC) is a constitutional consultative assembly, which advises the government. The Council represents the leading economic and social actors, facilitates co-operation among the various professional interest groups and ensures that they contribute to the government's economic, social and environmental policy.
Opinions and reports recently adopted
Future meetings and other events
The activity of the regional Economic and Social Councils
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.
The Economic, Social and Environmental Council has 233 members, representatives of civil society, appointed for a term of 5 years. They can not serve more than two consecutive terms.
The 233 members are divided as follows.
140 members under the economic and social dialogue, including:
- 69 representatives of employees;
- 27 representatives of private industry, trade and services;
- 20 representatives of farmers and agricultural activities;
- 10 representatives of the artisans;
- 4 representatives of the professions;
- 10 qualified personalities chosen for their experience in the economic field, including two from public companies and a representative of the French economic activities abroad.
60 members under the social and territorial cohesion and community life, including:
- 8 representatives of the mutual, cooperative and supportive non-agricultural economy;
- 4 representatives of mutuality and agricultural production and processing cooperatives;
- 10 representatives of family associations;
- 8 representatives of associations and foundations;
- 11 representatives of economic and social activities of overseas departments and regions, overseas communities and New Caledonia;
- 4 representatives of youth and students;
- 15 qualified personalities chosen for their experience in the social, cultural, sports and science fields, the social housing sector or for their work for disabled or retired people;
33 members under the protection of nature and the environment, including:
- 18 representatives of associations and foundations operating in the field of nature and environment conservation;
- 15 qualified personalities chosen for their expertise in environmental and sustainable development, including at least three leaders of companies with significant activity in these fields.
The Board is the governing body of the Council. It is elected by the Assembly at each renewal and at mid-term. It is composed of the President and 18 members, one for each representation group.
The President directs the work of the Council.
The 233 members of the Council are divided into nine permanent sections and three delegations; each section has at least one representative from each group. The sections are:
Section for Social Affairs and Health
Section for Labor and Employment
Section for the sustainable management of territories
Section for Economy and Finance
Section for European and international affairs
Section for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food
Section for Environment
Section for Education, Culture and Communication
Section for economic activities
Delegation for the foresight and evaluation of public policies
Delegation for women's rights and equality
Delegation for the Overseas
The topics addressed by the Council result either from a government request, from the request of a chairman of a meeting, from the request of citizens or from its own initiative. In all cases, the Bureau designates the section (or commission) in charge with preparing the draft opinion or study.
The sections appoint a rapporteur for each subject allocated to them and then they prepare draft opinions, usually included in a report. They may also prepare studies that are subject to the approval of the Board; for this they gather the necessary documentation and may organise hearings of competent personalities; meetings are held in camera.
The plenary assembly votes opinions that are presented by the rapporteur appointed by the relevant section; ministers are informed in advance of the debates that concern them, they can attend and speak; the meetings are public; the press attends them and reports.
Opinions, reports and studies are published in a special edition of the official journals, available either by subscription or by single copy. They are also available on the website http://www.lecese.fr