How the Council works

The working of the Spanish Economic and Social Council is governed by Law 21/1991 of 17 June establishing the Council, by the Organizational and Procedural Rules adopted by the Plenary Council on 25 February 1993 and by the implementing guidelines and instructions provided by the Council itself.

The Council's plenary sessions are public. Certain debates may however be declared non-public by decision of the Plenary Council.

The Plenary Council's meetings may be attended and spoken at by government members where the President has been previously notified or the Council so requests. Other authorities and civil servants at national level may attend when invited or authorized to report or to answer questions on matters within their remit.

Opinions on matters referred for consultation by the government are issued by the Plenary Council or if applicable by the Standing Committee where the Council delegates this function to it.

Each Council opinion is documented separately, with sections for background, the Council's assessment and its conclusions, signed by the Secretary-General and endorsed by the President, with any dissenting opinions attached. The Council's opinions are not binding on the government.

The Plenary Council or if applicable the Standing Committee, where the Council delegates the function to it, also issues studies and reports on matters linked to its remit, at the government's request or that of Council members or on the Council's initiative.

The decision to prepare an own-initiative report is taken by the Plenary Council at the request of the President, of the Standing Committee, of one member group or of eight Council members, through the Standing Committee.

Procedure for drawing up an opinion or report

Opinion or report Own-initiative report
Request to the Council by national government or government ministers for an opinion or report Acuerdo del Pleno para la elaboración de un Informe
  • Referral to the working committee responsible in the field
  • Preparation of a proposed text by the working committee
  • Presentation to the Plenary Council of the proposed opinion or report along with any amendments
  • Approval of the opinion or report by the Plenary Council
Submission of the opinion or report, together with any dissenting opinions, to the requesting body Dissemination of the report