The Law of 21 March 1966 established the Economic and Social Council (ESC) as an advisory body to the government. Its responsibility is to investigate economic, financial and social issues affecting either several economic sectors or the national economy as a whole. It may be called upon by the government or act on its own initiative.
Hence, the government seeks the ESC's advice on matters regarding general legislative or regulatory measures that it intends to implement whenever these concern several economic sectors, several professional groups or the national economy as a whole.
The ESC may also be consulted in specific cases or in cases of general interest, for example when the professional chambers have given fundamentally divergent opinions about a government bill or regulation.
Except in the event of an emergency, each year the ESC must present an opinion on the country's economic, financial and social situation, which is communicated by the government to the Chamber of Deputies.
The ESC consists of representatives from the business sector, the liberal professions, the agriculture and viticulture industry, as well as employee representatives from the private and public sector and members directly appointed by the government.
The ESC is placed under the administrative supervision of the Prime Minister.