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Economic, Social and Environmental Council

Economic, Social and Environmental Council

Date of entry: July 2, 1999

Member of AICESIS

Member of ILO

Institutional: Possibility to be convened by petition; close collaboration with executive and legislative powers

Membership structure: Representation of youth interests and environmental organizations

International: Participation in the coordination of national policies within the European Semester

Research: Research on how to trace and measure the political impact of the Councils’ advices. (Study in preparation)

Subjects: Recently developed focus on subjects concerning economic, social and environmental transition.



Institutional characteristics

Date of creation
Year operational
Nature of the texts that create the ESC (Constitution, law, decree, etc.)
Third Republic: National Economic Council created by decree (January, 16 1925). Law of March 19 1936: Strengthening of the Council’s legal status and extension of its field of competences to social policies.

Constitution of the Fourth Republic (Article 25, October, 13 1946) under the name of Economic Council and by the Constitution of the Fifth Republic (October, 4 1958) under the name of Economic and Social Council. + ordonnance n° 58-1360 29 December 1958 on the organic law concerning the Economic and Social Council changed by the law n° 2010-704 of 28 June 2010 (articles 11 et 13) ; + decree n° 84-822 of 6 September 1984 relating to the organisation of the Economic, Social and Environmental Council.

Consultation and advisory

The ESEC is an advisory body near the public powers and the third constitutional assembly of the French Fifth Republic besides the two chambers of parliament. As it represents the main actors of the society, it gives to policy-makers the views of the intermediate bodies on the public actions in the economic, social and environmental fields (and not only experts’ views), it facilitates their collaboration and ensures their participation to the national economic, social and environmental policies. It studies the evolution in the economic, social and environmental fields and suggests the changes it considers as necessary, thus helping to shape proposals in the public interest. It contributes to the review of public policy on economic, social and environmental issues and supports dialogue and cooperation policy with the advisory bodies at the national, European and international levels. Moreover, it helps to inform citizens on issues of political importance.
Decision making



Bipartite plus (W, E and others)

Number of members : 233 members :

Agriculture (20 members)
Craftsmanship (10 members)
Associations (8 members)
Trade Unions (69 members)
Co-operations (4 members)
Firms (27 members)
Environment and Nature (18 members)
Mutuality (8 members)
French overseas departments and territories (11 members)
Qualified personalities (40 members – economy: 10; social, culture, sports or science, social housing, assistance for disabled persons: 15; ecology and sustainable development: 15)
Self-employed people (4 members)
Familial Associations (10 members)
Youth and students (4 members)

Duration of term: 5 years renewable once (10 years maximum)

Process of designating the members (election, nomination, by whom, etc.) Socio-professional organizations and associations appoint 193 members. And the Government appoints 40 members (Qualified personalities) for their skills in the economic, social and environmental fields.

Management organes


The President and the 6 Vice Presidents are elected by the Councillors for 5 years renewable.
The Permanent Bureau – elected by the Councillors - is composed by: the President of the Council, 6 Vice Presidents, 2 Quaestors, 4 Secretaries, 6 members. Its role is to establish the working schedule, to organize the Council’s works and activities, to submit to the sections topics to study.

General Assembly and Plenary

Pleany Session
As the plenary sessions, it meets at least twice per month.


Secretariat General
Gender balance

Equal or More than 30%

Approximately 43% women
Reporting Institution




To the authority which convened it
Souce of funding
The budget is proposed by the Council, examined by the Ministry of Economy and Finance and it is voted by the Parliament. The budget is included in the Prime Minister’s budget. The Council has independence about the management.


Who convenes the ESC

The government (Prime Minister), the President of the National Assembly or the President of the Senate can convene the institution. It has a legal right to issue own-initiative opinion. It can also be convened by the population through a petition signed by at last 500.000 people of French nationality or living on the French territories. The government must convene the Council on bills on plan.

Salary of members

The Councillors receive compensations and remunerations.


The opinions They are issued in the Government publication listing new acts and published on the Council’s website.


Affiliations AICESIS - UCESIF

Main technical areas of competencies

Productivity and competitivity

Corporate governance and performance

Health and Medical Policy

Psychosocial risks

Economic and social costs of autism

Environment Policy


Water management

Financing environmental and energetic transition

Financial and Economic Policies

social and solidary economy

Corporate Social Responsibility
Youth Employment

Youth employment

Infrastructure Networks, Transport, and Energy Policies

Competiton in the passenger rail market

Energetic transition

Social Affairs

Social investment strategy

Sub-committees/working groups

Employment policy and labour market regulation and reform

Labour and Employment

Education and Vocational Training

Education, Culture and Communication

Gender equality and anti-discrimination

Women rights and gender equalities

Health and Medical Policy / Social Security and social protection
Environment Policy / Sustainable development


Financial and Economic Policies

Economy and Finance / Economic Activities

International / Regional affairs

European and International Affairs

Local Economic Development

Sustainable Land Management

Others (please specify the list)

French overseas departments and territories

Social Affairs

Social Affairs and Health

Cultural Affairs

Agriculture, fishing and Food

Governance / Public Administration

Prospective and public policies evaluation